Ad Week Kicks Off With Cautious Optimism

The sixth annual Ad Weekkicks off today at the New York Times building in midtown Manhattan. Everyone who was here last year can't help but reminisce about the financial meltdown that unfolded during September 2008's event. Last year ad spending was already starting to decline, so this year the big question is whether the ad dollars are coming back and, if so, where will they go?

This morning I sat down with Andrew Robertson the CEO of BBDO Worldwide, who's giving a keynote here before heading to Detroit for meetings with the auto makers.

The good news is that the worst seems to be over and that companies like Ford will be ramping up their ad spending as auto sales continue to increase. The bad news is even worse for newspapers, as print ads have suffered the most during the downturn and face the biggest challenge to rebound.

Robertson pointed out that TV is still a strong ad medium - and we're not just talking about broadcast ads. Consumers don't distinguish between shows on cable and network TV (channels like NBC Universal's USA continue to gain ground against the big four broadcasters), so BBDO doesn't distinguish either when tackling the market for its clients.

One topic Robertson said is sure to be a hot one at Ad Week this year is measurement.

Media companies, ad agencies and major advertisers are coming together to form a consorstium to better measure new media.

Robertson says the move's been a long time in coming.

This alternative to Nielsen should help companies like BBDO and their buyers better understand how to tackle the new and fast-growing media of mobile and web ads.

Questions? Comments?