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THE NEW YORK TIMES, MONDAY, JULY 18, 2011 ADVERTISING
Mosaic Marketing Takes a Fresh Look At Changing Society
An Ogilvy & Mather unit puts a focus on cultural similarities.
campaigns?” asked Mr. Buford, who said that Prime Access has produced general-market advertising for Merck and the Time Inc. division of Time Warner. Donna Morton, director for marketing planning for North America at the British Airways office in New York, said she had hired OgilvyCulture to find innovative ways to promote the airline’s Executive Club loyalty program to the diverse fliers of the United States and Canada. “Several years ago, we were doing that kind of traditional multicultural marketing, grouping people into segments like seniors and L.G.B.T.,” Ms. Morton said. “The world now is so different; now it’s about becoming part of the culture, building relationships.” Likewise, Christine Whitehawk, communication manager for the Ikea North America unit of Ikea in Conshohocken, Pa., said, “This to us is the beauty of OgilvyCulture. Although we want to ensure that different audiences are engaging with the brand, we don’t want a bunch of different messages.” “This is not saying, you need 10 communication platforms,” she said. “It’s saying, let’s look at cross-cultural nuances that could work cross-culturally.” Among those scheduled to speak at the conference, in addition to Mr. Bowman and Mr. Seifert, are David Burgos, vice president at the Millward Brown unit of WPP and the author of a coming book, “Marketing to the New Majority”; Peter Francese, the founder of American Demographics magazine who is now worldwide demographer and trends analyst at Ogilvy & Mather; Mark López, head of United States Hispanic audience and pan-regional United States sales at Google; Michele Thornton, senior director for multicultural advertising sales at the CNN unit of Time Warner; and Miles Young, worldwide chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather.
By STUART ELLIOTT
OU may not need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, as Bob Dylan put it, but it seems that Madison Avenue needed a census taker. As results from the 2010 census continue to be released, the changing demographic makeup of the American consumer market is increasingly a topic for discussion — and action — among advertisers and agencies. One trend to emerge is known as cross-cultural marketing, aimed at a general market that may be more of a mosaic than a melting pot. Cross-cultural marketing is, as the term suggests, aimed across demographic groups to appeal to consumer similarities rather than differences. By contrast, traditional multicultural marketing is directed at specific demographic groups like Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, women or gay and lesbian consumers. One of the largest global agencies, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, has formed a unit, OgilvyCulture, that specializes in cross-cultural marketing. British Airways and Ikea are among the initial clients of the unit, which has also provided consulting services to advertisers like Eastman Kodak, Kimberly-Clark and Unilever. OgilvyCulture, which had a “soft launch” in November, is to get an official send-off on Monday with a daylong conference, titled “Preparing for the New General Market,” at the Ogilvy & Mather world headquarters on the West Side of Manhattan. “This starts from the kind of firm we want to be in the future,” said John Seifert, chairman and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather North America, and is meant to respond to “extraordinary
changes.” “Instead of thinking of discrete segments in a multicultural world,” he said, “we’re saying the new reality is that it’s more of a cross-cultural world, a mash-up of cultures.” In seeking “deeper understanding of new cross-cultural realities,” Mr. Seifert said, OgilvyCulture is looking to the “diversity and inclusion” employee networks at Ogilvy & Mather, which include Black Diaspora, LatinRed, OgilvyPride, RedLotus and Women’s Leadership. That is important, Mr. Seifert said, because “if there has been a weakness in the marketing communications industry generally, it’s that the makeup of agencies is not reflective” of the consumers to whom they advertise. (“Red” appears in the names of some employee groups because it is the agency color, and the favorite color of the founder, David Ogilvy.) OgilvyCulture “represents an effort to build on” the work of those internal organizations “and take it out of the agency as an external-facing agenda,” said Jeffrey Bowman, who heads OgilvyCulture as its practice lead while also serving as director for marketing strategy at Ogilvy & Mather. “As a practice, its success is dependent on a core group of people making connections internally and externally,” he said. “We’re feeling our way; I’ve said to everyone this is going to be messy for a while.” Asked about the multicultural approach, as offered by scores of agencies that create campaigns aimed at ethnic and demographic groups, Mr. Bowman said: “I do not intend to market this as an alternative to the specialty agencies. We accept the reality there are some clients who will say,
Principal members of the OgilvyCulture team are, from left, Willow Gross, Robert Henzi, Aaron Finegold, Sacha Xavier, Enrique Urquiola, Erin Goldson and Jeffrey Bowman.
‘We have a general-market agency and a Hispanic agency.’” Ogilvy & Mather will still operate multicultural units like OgilvyRojo, which creates ads aimed at Spanish-speaking consumers, and OgilvyNoor, which specializes in building brands that appeal to Muslim consumers. “We’ve been saying for years there’s a new America,” said Howard Buford, president and chief executive at Prime Access in New York, an agency devoted to marketing to three demographic groups: Hispanic, African-American and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (L.G.B.T.) consumers. “It’s multicultural consumers who are making ‘the new general market,’ why not go to an agency with a long track record of multicultural advertising to do general
New Diabetes Drug Faces a Critical Review Before an F.D.A. Advisory Panel
By ANDREW POLLACK
New diabetes drugs are being developed that reduce blood sugar in a straightforward way — by causing it to be excreted in the urine. On Tuesday, a committee that advises the Food and Drug Administration is to consider whether the first of those drugs can overcome safety concerns and reach the market. The outcome of the F.D.A. review is far from certain. The drug, dapagliflozin, might raise the risk of breast and bladder cancer, liver damage and infections of the genitals and urinary tract, according to an F.D.A. examination of the data posted on the agency’s Web site on Friday. Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, the co-developers of dapagliflozin, are in the lead to bring these drugs, so-called SGLT2 inhibitors, to market. Oth-
ers developing such drugs include Johnson & Johnson; the team of Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim; Lexicon Pharmaceuticals; Isis Pharmaceuticals; and several Japanese companies including Astellas Pharma, the Chugai Pharmaceutical Company and the Taisho Pharmaceutical Company. Currently, only a tiny amount of glucose that is filtered by the kidneys is excreted in the urine; the rest is returned to the bloodstream. This mechanism apparently evolved to help the body preserve a vital source of energy. The job of returning glucose to the bloodstream is performed mainly by a protein called the sodium glucose co-transporter 2. By inhibiting SGLT2, the drugs cause a substantial increase in the amount of glucose that flows out in the urine. At least in principle, this does
not appear to be dangerous. There is a rare genetic disease in which people do not have functioning SGLT2. They have very high sugar levels in their urine but appear otherwise to be generally healthy.
A drug that acts independently of insulin.
In clinical trials, dapagliflozin, a once-a-day pill, was about as effective as other types of diabetes drugs in lowering blood sugar. According to the F.D.A., however, the drug does not work in patients with moderate to severe kidney impairment. Experts say that SGLT2 inhibi-
tors would be a useful addition because many diabetics go through various drugs, often more than one at a time, to try to control their blood sugar. “It’s not a must-have, but it’s a nice thing,’’ said Dr. Jay S. Skyler, deputy director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami. “I’d like to have it in my toolbox.’’ A potential advantage of these drugs is that their mechanism of action is independent of insulin, making it potentially easy to combine SGLT2 inhibitors with other drugs. Many other diabetes drugs work either by providing the body with insulin, inducing the pancreas to secrete more insulin or making the body more sensitive to insulin. Moreover, because so many calories are now flowing out in the urine, the SGLT2 inhibitors help people lose a little weight.
That could be of some benefit because many people with diabetes are overweight and because some other diabetes drugs can cause weight gain. In clinical trials, patients receiving dapagliflozin lost an average of about five pounds more than those getting a placebo after six months. They also experienced a slight reduction in blood pressure. One drawback, however, is that the extra sugar in the urine makes the urinary tract and genitals more hospitable to microorganisms, leading to an increase in infections. What seemed to concern the F.D.A. reviewers more than these infections was a possible increased risk of breast and bladder cancers. Nine women, or 0.4 percent of those who took the drug, got breast cancer compared with one
woman, or 0.09 percent, of those in the control group, according to AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers. For bladder cancer, the rate was nine cases, or 0.3 percent, for those taking the drug compared with one case, or 0.05 percent, for those in the control group. The companies argue that when all types of cancer, not just breast and bladder cancer, are considered, there is no increased risk for those taking dapagliflozin. They also say that some of the cancers were diagnosed so soon after the start of the trial that they were unlikely to be linked to the drug. “Based on a thorough nonclinical and clinical assessment, the data do not suggest that dapagliflozin is associated with a risk for either of these cancers,’’ the companies wrote in their own briefing document, adding, however, that data was limited.
Transparent Government, Via Webcams in India
By VIKAS BAJAJ
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India — Little Brother is watching you. That is the premise for the webcam that a top government official here has installed in his office, as an anticorruption experiment. Goings-on in his chamber are viewable to the public, 24/7. In an India beset by kickback scandals at the highest reaches of government, and where petty bribes at police stations and motor vehicle departments are often considered a matter of course, Oommen Chandy is making an online stand. “Instead of taking action against corruption, I believe that we have to create an atmosphere where everything should be in a transparent way,” Mr. Chandy, who recently became chief minister of Kerala state after his coalition won a close election, said in an interview in his office. “The people must know everything.” About 100,000 visitors logged in to the video feed on the day it began, July 1. And through last Friday afternoon, it had been visited by 293,586 users. The chief minister — equivalent to an American governor — gave the interview during a break in negotiations with leaders of the state’s private colleges over the fees they can charge students. Although the proceedings were being streamed on his office’s
Web site, as with everything captured by the webcam there was no audio. (The minister says he wants visitors and aides to speak freely when they meet him.) Sunil Abraham, the executive director of the Center for Internet and Society in Bangalore, said he applauded Mr. Chandy’s webcams, even if the effort amounted to no more than tokenism. “This type of tokenism is also quite useful,” said Mr. Abraham, predicting it might check the behavior of not only the chief minister, but also his underlings and the powerful executives and politicians who come to visit him. Of course, he noted, if people are intent on paying bribes, they could probably still do it outside the office. Mr. Abraham said webcams might be a far more powerful tool if installed in police stations, drivers’ licenses offices, welfare agencies and other places where Indians interact with officials who sometimes demand bribes to do routine work. A few agencies around the country have started such surveillance, he said, but most have not. Mr. Chandy’s effort comes as India has been racked by one corruption scandal after another. A former federal telecommunications minister is sitting in jail on charges that he gave cellphone licenses to favored companies, costing the government as much as $40 billion. Several corporate executives, an official involved in planning the Commonwealth
The chief minister of Kerala state in India, Oommen Chandy, has installed a webcam in his office, seen above, as an anticorruption measure.
out of the office or sitting with aides and other politicians. The video from a second camera, trained on the outside chamber, shows aides at their desks answering phones or staring into their computer screens. A career politician and a member of the ruling Congress party, Mr. Chandy, 67, had a webcam in his office when he was chief minister for two years from 2004 to 2006. But his successor, the leader of a communist coalition government, removed the device when he took over. Now in the opposition, the communists deride
SANJIT DAS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
Games and the scion of a political family are also behind bars while being tried on various corruption charges.
But transparency is tedious. For most of the day, as the videos stream from the Chandy chambers, the chief minister is either
the webcams as a publicity stunt. But others see virtue in such efforts, even if the details are still being refined. In Bangalore, the top executive of a government-owned electricity utility has been using a webcam in his office. The official, P. Manivannan, said he was now installing a “hemispheric” camera that would capture the goings-on in his entire office rather than just show his visitors. But he said he would no longer broadcast the video stream to the Web site of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company. “I have been getting a lot of brickbats because of the cameras,” Mr. Manivannan said in a telephone interview. “My colleagues were telling me, ‘What are you trying to prove — that you are the only honest one?’” Once the new camera is installed, Mr. Manivannan said it would record everything. But anyone interested in viewing segments of the video would have to request the clips, at no cost. That should ease tension in the office, he said, while still keeping things on the up and up. He said he had success with a similar camera when he was in the city government and some politicians threatened to call a strike unless he reinstated a fired employee. The politicians backed off, Mr. Manivannan said, when he threatened to give a recording of their meeting to local television stations. “I definitely believe that putting a camera helps you prove that you are accountable,” he said. “I would be very happy if tomorrow the government of India decided you must have a camera.”