New York -- At the Cabletelevision Advertising
Bureau's 18th annual Cable Advertising Conference, set for Thursday (March
23) at the New York Marriott Marquis, a nine-person panel will concentrate heavily on
interactive advertising's potential.
The half-day conference's theme will be,
"Evolution. Revolution. New Solutions."
Focusing on "the technology revolution," the
CAB's nine-person morning panel will include Wink Communications Inc. chairman Maggie
Wilderotter and WorldGate Communications Inc. senior vice president of marketing Gerard
Kunkel. Representing ad agencies will be McCann-Erickson WorldGroup media director Mark
Stewart and Carat USA president David Verklin. The Clorox Co. director of media services
Alain Zutter will represent clients.
Rounding out the panel will be two cable executives: Ed
Erhardt, president of customer marketing and sales for ESPN/ABC Sports, and Discovery
Networks U.S. president Johnathan Rodgers. Wall Street analyst Tom Wolzien of Sanford C.
Bernstein & Co. and TiVo Inc. programming and network-relations vice president Stacey
Jolna will also appear.
In a departure from past CAB conferences, the panel will be
formatted as "A Socratic Dialogue," using a series of questions to lead to
logical conclusions. That discussion will be moderated by Harvard Law School professor
Arthur Miller, who conducted a similar "Media 2000" session last month for
Addressing an audience of more than 1,200 advertising
strategists, the panelists will also likely touch on convergence-related issues, CAB CEO
Joseph Ostrow said last Thursday.
USA Networks Inc. CEO Barry Diller, who was expected to
talk about his cable networks' growing electronic-commerce ties, had to drop out. The
new keynoter is Cable News Network anchor Judy Woodruff, who will probably discuss
technology and politics, among other topics, Ostrow said.
The CAB shortened its New York event from three days to a
half-day in 1998 and changed its agenda to focus entirely on network cable. Spot and local
cable issues were then redirected into the CAB's Local Cable Sales Management
Conference. The latter will have its seventh annual outing in June in Denver.
The New York confab won't expand to a full day, Ostrow
said, because "we've developed a formula that works. [The half-day format] is
one reason why we get sold-out attendance. It's tough for [the ad community] to cut a
full day from their schedules."
Ostrow -- who has projected that this will be a $13 billion
ad-sales year for cable, including $9.6 billion for network cable -- said the CAB will
release a new research study at the event examining commercial recall. The CAB's
chairman, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. president Steve Heyer, will also address the