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?Scene And Heard At PROMAX&BDA 2005

Highlights from world?s largest annual television promotion, design & marketing conference (June 24, 2005)

Thursday marked the close of another exceptionally successful PROMAX&BDA, as organizers reported solid attendance, packed session rooms and a whirl of unique and exciting special events. As usual, the conferences lineup of VIP guest speakers had a lot to say to their captive audiences of television and creative industry executives. Following is a sampling of interesting snippets for your enjoyment:

*Anne Sweeney, President, Disney-ABC Television Group, who took time from her family vacation to open PROMAX&BDA, described the business of television promotion and broadcast design: ?The evolution of your industry has been, in a word, astonishing.

*Daniel Libeskind, the distinguished architect who was given the extraordinary task of envisioning the new World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan: ?Dont take it seriously?.its not important, Libeskind said when asked about Donald Trumps jabs about the design. ??design is not only about form and function but its also about communicating a story. You cant be a pessimist or cynic if you want to be an architect.

*Jeff Zucker, President, NBC Universal Television Group News, on the recent advertising upfront market, where NBC lost $900 million in revenue compared to 2004: ?After 10 years of dominance in primetime, we knew we were in for a setback?we can deal with it. Its been a tough year for NBC Entertainment and thats the price you pay. On promotion, Zucker said: ?Promotion drives everything?.promotion has be a critical component of whatever you are doing.

*Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. ended what was a passionate plea to attendees to help change our current political administration and work to preserve nature for our children with this poignant proverb: ?We did not inherit this planet from our ancestors? we borrowed it from our children.

*Martha Stewart told a crowded ballroom that she had to convince her probation officer that appearing at PROMAX&BDA was ?essential business. ?It took time for him understand what you do but I convinced him it was beneficial. So if he calls you, please back me up!

She said that ?brands are personalities are for the most part made from communication, commitment and consistency. Her company, Martha Stewart Omnivision, became a brand overnight ?which took about 10 years.

*ABC Newsman Ted Koppel tackled the issue of competition and the need to make money, and how it was having a negative impact on broadcast journalism: ?Im just saying, hold on to what we have with both hands and not let it dissipate.

*Famed documentarian Ken Burns, who delivered a wonderful, anecdote-filled speech about the importance of history in storytelling, told his captive audience: ?The genius of this globe is improvisation. His Master session ended with a standing ovation.

*Spiritual guru Deepak Chopra had an equally powerful impact on attendees, as he discussed the worlds differing, and conflicting perceptions of consciousness. When describing the mere act of inhaling and exhaling atoms, he said: ?Technically speaking, we are all intimately sharing our organs with each other? So, if you think you are a physical body, you have a little bit of a dilemma. Which one are you talking about?

*PROMAX&BDA CEO Jim Chabin, who presented Deepak Chopra with the Social Artist Award, read its inscription, which was a quote from Ghandi: ?You must be the change you see in the world. He then spoke on behalf of both the organizers and the audience when he told Chopra: ?I think you represent the change we all want for this world.

*Scott Brown of Nielsen Media pulled out his crystal ball during his session on digital technology and consumer trends. DVR penetration, he said, is currently in about 5% of all American households. By the end of this year, that number is projected to leap to 10-11% and by years-end 2006, should be barreling toward 25%. On the digital television front, Brown noted that saturation levels are currently hovering near 12%, but expected that by years end, 1 in every 5 American homes will have a digital set.

PROMAX&BDA is a global, non-profit association dedicated to advancing the role and effectiveness of promotion, marketing and broadcast design professionals in the electronic media.

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