Tuesday, September 19, 2000

A Blooming Business Salon

In the grand classic style of Parisian salons, Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, staff writer and salon director for Business 2.0, leads their second salon for literary and technically inclined types. Held in the lush, posh Bloom ballroom with Dali-esque chairs, there were clusters of groups gathering in conversation. Tim Walker and David Leepson, formally of HBO and founding CEO and COO, respectively, of Netshoot were there. Feedroom's Rob Barrett and Young and Rubicam's Liz Reilly came by. Mike Duda of Rapp Collins and Will Porteous of RRE Ventures enjoyed some of the crisp, cool beverages and assortment of tasty hors d'oeuvres being passed around. I stood near the back with Village Ventures' Kevin McCormick and Ben Jones, Catharine Taylor of Organic (formerly an editor at AdWeek), and Samthana Reelitz of Leo Burnett's Chicago office.

Business 2.0 senior writer Beth Snyder interviewed Doug Jaeger, interactive creative director TBWA/Chiat Day and Ron Bernstein, VP of ad sales for AOLS Compuserve, about what went wrong with Pets.com's Sock Puppet and other tragedies in the 'Net. Bernstein stated the obvious -- that there were a lot of plans out there that just weren't good. Jaeger commented that a lot of dot-coms have pulled back on their advertising online, but that eTrade has done a good job with their cross-medium advertising. It's easier to evoke an emotional response in video-type ads (TV). He also spoke to radio’s strengths and that this medium is one where it is very easy for dot-coms to run various campaigns, and to track and test markets. Speaking to strong brands on the Net, Bernstein predicted that Amazon will be like Walmart soon enough.

In response to a question to one-to-one type marketing, Jaeger used Vindigo and Modo.net as examples of companies that are breaking ground in new territories for real-time messaging and contextual ads. Targeted ads based on need, location and demographics are possibilities with the new technologies out there.

Business 2.0's new executive editor, and who was formally with Wired, US News and Red Hat, was there to meet and greet the guests before and after the salon's main discussion. Of course, there were many discussions that night, and Business 2.0 features editor Kevin Hogan and senior writers Ed Robinson and Loren Fox engaged other guests in consummate conversation.