Diversity Week Notebook

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Integrated marketing is “growing like a weed” and shows no sign of slowing down as cable nets compete for advertising dollars, said Dario Spina, evp, integrated marketing at Viacom Media Networks. He was one of several panelists at NAMIC's Wed opening session in agreement that brand marketing now affects multicultural marketing, as well as strategies across the board. “This shift is putting a lot of pressure on us to deliver boutique agency-like services to clients,” he said. B2+ pres/creative director Brian Briskman said advertisers know they have leverage and are using it to push for deeper integrations. “Brands want own-able content now,” he said. But nets need to be careful to ensure organic integration, said Christine Maggiore-Escribano, svp, integrated marketing solutions at Telemundo Media. “We feel with branded entertainment you really need to have an editorial voice,” she said, adding that if the client takes over “the audience will know.” The good news, she said, is that advertisers get it now. “The pool of clients who don't understand multicultural marketing is slimming down,” she said. Eddie Hill, svp, consumer marketing and brand strategy at BET Nets, said advertisers also demand broader reach across audiences and platforms, which has prompted BET to appeal beyond the African-American demo and “think with a broader lens.” — LGBT cable execs may still face challenges–but the industry has come a long way, NAMIC panelists said Wed. “There are some positions that weren't offered to me because of my persona,” acknowledged Comcast vp, govt affairs Klayton Fennell. But he said those situations stemmed from the best of intentions. “They didn't want to see me get hurt or have someone treat me badly,” he said, advising managers to avoid such paternalism. “Don't help protect them that way. Shatter those glass ceilings.” Lisa Sherman, who just this week resigned as Logo's gm, said she spent years in the corporate world before coming out. But once she did, everything got better. “I became so much happier and more creative and did better work,” she said. “And then my career just took off.” Sherman joined Logo 3 months before its '05 launch and recalled the first pitch to a distributor, whose reps were “a little bit nervous about what it was going to be.” When she showed the sizzle reel, they all exhaled sighs of relief. “They thought this was going to be a porn channel… because when they hear LGBT, all they think is sex and porn,” she said. How perceptions have changed…

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