RYE BROOK, NY — The benefits of using an insert broker were among the topics addressed by a speaker at the Alternate Response Media Council's “Insert Media Success Stories from a Mailer's Perspective” breakfast yesterday.
“From our perspective, whoever your broker is, you want to make sure they have certain established relationships within the industry with various program managers — people that have been around for a number of years,” said James M. Kushner, director of marketing, alternative media, at Guthy-Renker, Santa Monica, CA. An experienced broker has “systems in place already that will help you get a test campaign off the ground quicker.”
Also featured at the event was Donna M. Malavolta, senior account executive at Singer Direct Inc., Scarsdale, NY. She suggested that managers and program owners review their own programs.
“See where any given mailer may have been in their program,” she said. “Maybe they've only tested once. Maybe they tested once and returned with a small expansion and then they dropped the program. Go back to your broker and say, 'What would it take to get you back in there? Is there some sort of rate or is there some sort of number that we can work together to get you back in to see if we can save this program?”
She added that, “as a broker, you should not be going out there and just asking for one given rate for every single program.”
But Kushner said there is a point at which a rate could be too low and the manager could lose money.
“You could always say 'no' if a rate we need is far below what the cost is for the owner,” he said.
In the question-and-answer session, Kushner was asked whether celebrities are paid based on sales or according to a flat rate. “It depends on the contract,” he said.
He also was asked about protection against celebrity spokespeople who generate negative publicity due to events in their personal lives. He drew laughter when he deferred to his company's legal department.