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Field Reports - January 2014

1 Jan, 2014 By: Doug McPherson, Thomas Haire Response

Concepts TV Productions’ Kristy Pinand-Dumpert Wins DRMA Member of the Year

By Thomas Haire (

NEW YORK  — Response Magazine and the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) salute Kristy Pinand-Dumpert, vice president of sales and marketing for Boonton, N.J.-based Concepts TV Productions, as the 2013 DRMA Member of the Year.

“Words can’t express how humbled I am to receive the DRMA Member of the Year award,” Pinand-Dumpert says. “When the announcement was made, I was so touched that I had to hold back tears. To be in the company of such talented nominees, and then be voted for by peers I greatly respect and admire, is such an honor. I’m proud to say that I work among friends — the DRMA is about forging partnerships and bettering the industry as a whole, and to play a small part in that is so gratifying. I’m so appreciative and thankful for this award.”

Pinand-Dumpert’s victory in an industry-wide vote became official during a brief ceremony in front of more than 350 industry leaders at the DRMA Winter Bash in New York on December 10.

“The Response team has known Kristy almost since the day she jumped into the direct response business. Her personality, commitment and growth mirror the ideals of the DRMA,” says John Yarrington, publisher of Response and co-founder of the DRMA. “Kristy earned the lion’s share of the more than 900 votes cast by our members. She’s incredibly deserving of this honor against admittedly strong competition. While Kristy earned this award, the rest of our nominees earned their recognition as well.”

By earning the Third Annual DRMA Member of the Year Award, Pinand-Dumpert succeeds 2012 winner Nancy Lazkani of Icon Media Direct and 2011 winner Curtis Kleinman of Swipe Payment Solutions. The other nominees were:

  • Lindsey Brooks, chairwoman/CEO, Hit Laboratories and Boardwalk Brand Inc., Seattle
  • Lindsey Carnett, CEO & president, Marketing Maven Public Relations Inc., Camarillo, Calif.
  • Grant W. Cover, director, major accounts, Tribune Media Services, Queensbury, N.Y.
  • Karla Crawford Kerr, director of business development & corporate relations, Hawthorne Direct, Fairfield, Iowa
  • Craig Handley, CEO and co-founder, Listen Up Español, Portland, Maine
  • Ayal Latz, president, a2b Fulfillment Inc., Greensboro, Ga.
  • Jason Levesque, founder & CEO, Argo Marketing Group Inc., Lewiston, Maine
  • Reno R. Renaldo III, executive vice president/co-founder, OpenJar Concepts Inc., Temecula, Calif.
  • Monica C. Smith, founder & CEO, Marketsmith, Parsippany, N.J.

“This is truly an exclusive group: 10 of the DR industry’s best have earned their nominations for the DRMA Member of the Year competition,” says Yarrington. “These nominees symbolize the industry’s best values, while also working diligently to expand the scope of the industry and the DRMA throughout the past year.”

The DRMA Member of the Year was determined by an E-mail vote from alliance members. Representatives of DRMA member companies had the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice between Nov. 20-Dec. 5.

The Winter Bash was presented by the DRMA and Viacom Media Networks, and sponsored by a2b Fulfillment, CoreMedia Systems, Dial800, OpenJar Concepts, REVShare and Swipe Payment Solutions. It is one of four annual networking events hosted by the DRMA.

FTC Native Ad Workshop Gets Prickly

By Doug McPherson

WASHINGTON — Warnings, veiled threats and even an expletive flew at the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) workshop Dec. 4 on native advertising — sponsored content that resembles news.

Advertising industry executives traveled to Washington amid staunch opposition to defend native advertising at a workshop called “Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content.” The question: Are publishers and advertisers doing enough to keep consumers from mistaking native ads from the content itself?

AdAge reported that FTC staff attorney Lesley Fair set the stage with a warning, scrolling through a series of slides with pictures of deceptive ads: direct mail, infomercials and “articles” pitching weight-loss pills that have been deemed unfair, deceptive and unlawful.

Mary Engle, the FTC’s associate director for advertising practices, said concerns about deception sparked the FTC’s interest. “When we went online, we started seeing things we that weren’t sure what they were,” Engle said.

And Federal Trade Commissioner Edith Ramirez said companies that run native advertising run the risk of misleading consumers. “By presenting ads that resemble editorial content, an advertiser risks implying, deceptively, that the information comes from a nonbiased source,” she said.

Executives from Procter & Gamble, Hearst, Mashable, The Huffington Post, Outbrain, Adiant and Sharethrough attended and offered arguments to keep the practice.

One Mashable exec showed a slide of a sponsored article on that contained four disclosures stating the piece was paid for by Lenovo.

Chris Laird, a marketing director at P&G, said transparency was a brand imperative. “If it’s not transparent, and it erodes consumer trust, the ROI falls and we just won’t invest in it anymore,” he contended.

David Franklyn, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, expressed skepticism about publisher labeling efforts. “We continue to find deep confusion about the difference between paid and unpaid content,” he said.

Columnist Bob Garfield, a former AdAge editor, called native advertising a violation of the most basic publishing ethics. “A conspiracy of deception, a hustle, a racket, a grift,” he said. “With every transaction, publishers are mining and exporting a rare resource: trust. Those deals will not save the media industry. They will, in a matter of years, destroy the media industry: one boatload of sh*t at a time.”

MediaPost reported that the two sides generally agreed that sponsored content and news should be delineated, but there was little consensus on the details — including which types of native spots should trigger disclosures, and how to word disclosure in a way people will understand.

One unanswered question was what language companies should use to describe native ads. Current common terms include “sponsored by” and “presented by.”

“Really smart people may come to different conclusions about what ‘sponsored’ means,” said Chris Hoofnagle, a lecturer in residence at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Hoofnagle added that he thinks “sponsored by” indicates an arrangement — which was typical on PBS — where a company pays to have its name associated with a show that was created independently. Online, however, “sponsored by” often refers to content that an advertiser has created.

Time-Shifted TV Viewing Rises

By Doug McPherson

NEW YORK — More consumers are watching time-shifted traditional TV — up 11 percent to 167.1 million in the third quarter. This group now represents 59 percent of all traditional TV users, which rose slightly to 283.6 million, says Nielsen.

The number of mobile phone users watching video is up, too. Nielsen says there was a 40-percent rise in watching video on a mobile phone between August and October to 53.1 million users. Overall, mobile phone users rose slightly — 1 percent, to 239.8 million.

Analysts say mobile and tablet usage growth will come at the expense of time spent with traditional computers. Users of video on a computer — as well as general computer usage — declined in the third quarter of this year.

Nielsen says there was a 9-percent decline in the number of users watching video on the Internet — to 147.7 million on a monthly basis in the third quarter of 2013 versus the third quarter of a year ago. This comes from the latest Nielsen cross-platform media report.

The company also says the number of general users of the Internet via computer also dipped a bit — 5 percent — to 200 million versus the third quarter of 2012.

Joshua Chasin, an analyst with comScore, says his company shows a slightly different story. “Viewers of videos on home-owned and/or work-owned computers have held steady August through October at around 188 million.”

About the Author: Doug McPherson

About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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