Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

AT&T: It’s all about the athletes

att.jpgAT&T is an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team, which generally makes for great brand building. This year, however, marketing promises to be a little more complicated because of political tensions. Look no further than the protests that accompanied the international torch relay.

This led us to ask Chief Financial Officer Rick Lindner about whether they’ve changed their minds about their Olympic advertising.

We certainly talk about our Olympics sponsorship. The key message we try to convey to people, particularly those that may have concerns, is that we’re not sponsoring the games. We’re sponsoring our Olympic team. That’s where our dollars and commitment goes. It’s the right place.

It’s sponsoring those athletes that are going to be competing. We’ve got to do a good job of communicating our position. We feel we’re doing the right things. I’m not aware that we’ve made any changes to our plans from an advertising standpoint.

Here’s an idea…

sorrell.jpgSir Martin Sorrell of WPP Group presides over the world’s second largest advertising services company. Business leaders the world over have consulted him on his views on how global economic trends will unfold. Many credit him with being far-sighted on the emergence of India and China, on the importance of the Internet and new media.
    
Today, at the Reuters Global Technology Media and Telecoms Summit, he suggested that corporations consider a complete about-face to the basic marketing idea entrenched for decades in the U.S. and Europe.  

One of the paradoxes we’re probably going to have to deal with in our industry is that historically, we’ve encouraged consumers to consume more. What we may have to do, particularly in the West as the oil price gets to $140, $150 or maybe even $200 (per barrel) … we may have to encourage people to consume less. That’s a very different approach. 

No paper towels at AU Optronics restrooms

hb-chen.jpgNo luck if you are an employee of AU Optronics and have been yelled at by your boss. There are no paper towels in the restrooms to wipe your tears!

In a drive to become more environmentally friendly, the world’s third largest LCD maker has stopped providing paper.

Silicon Valley execs self-absorbed (and thats not all bad)

With the white noise of MicroHoo ringing in everyone ears, we asked Adobe SystemsShantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer of Adobe Systems Inc., speaks during the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecom Summit in New York CEO Shantanu Narayen why he thinks “royal weddings” — idylic mergers between multi-billion dollar companies — in Silicon Valley are few and far between.

You know, because, giant Deathstars are better for everybody, right?

The answer: Even though some merger adviser is probably ringing to talk about “strategic alternatives” (we suppose), Silicon Valley entrepreneur-types are, like, you know, obsessed with minding their own beeswax.

Liberty Global goes to school on digital video

fries.jpgLearning from others’ mistakes always makes business easier. At least that’s what Liberty Global is counting on as looks at digital video coming to television around the world. Chief Executive Mike Fries tell us a few of the lessons he took away from the roll-out of digital video and products like DVRs in the United States. “Be patient with your box development.” “You want to have everybody on the same platform.” “Be disciplined about the economic model… don’t spend too much on the box.” “It’s about the applications, not the content.”

All about the applications? Fries elaborates:

Seagate likes it easy, cheap and free

Seagate Technology CEO Bill WatkinsSeagate Chief Executive Bill Watkins has a reason to like easy, free ways to consume information on the Internet.

After all, his company is the world’s largest computer disk-drive maker, something that comes in handy for all the storage space required to back up online audio and video.

Coming to your cell phone: security

cool-mcafee.jpgThere’s a lot of scary stuff out there — identity theft, viruses, spamming — and it’s getting scarier with each new technology.

Not only that, but as technology spreads around the world, new threats emerge all the time. That’s where McAfee comes into play, says Chief Executive Dave DeWalt.

Don’t tease IBM, especially about India

ibm.jpgWe found out on Wednesday what happens when you mess around with Big Blue.

CFO Mark Loughridge came to the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit to talk about all sorts of things, but it was his story about building the software services business in India that caught my attention. Loughridge was asked about whether it might make sense for IBM to hook up with a bigger Indian software services company. This was his response:

Well, you know, the Indian services software services company I’d think you want to team up with is us.

Google, not Nokia, shows way to maps on phones

detaeye.jpgWinning a big deal to supply Google with maps for mobile phones would trump Nokia‘s attempts to win over pedestrians with cellphone maps, regardless of the Finnish cellphone giant’s $8 billion acquisition of map maker Navteq, according to rival map maker Tele Atlas. “Is it more relevant in the pedestrian world that we are… owned by TomTom or is it more relevant that we have a big customer that is called Google?” said TeleAtlas CEO Alain de Taeye when asked whether he was intimidated by the prospective Nokia-Navteq combination. Speaking at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in Paris, De Taeye said it was false to assume that there were now only four players in the navigation world: Nokia, Navteq, TomTom and Tele Atlas, when Nokia considered Google one of its main competitors. Both Navteq and Tele Atlas — the only two global digital map makers — supply Google.

Google, not Nokia, shows way to maps on phones

detaeye.jpgWinning a big deal to supply Google with maps for mobile phones would trump Nokia‘s attempts to win over pedestrians with cellphone maps, regardless of the Finnish cellphone giant’s $8 billion acquisition of map maker Navteq, according to rival map maker Tele Atlas. “Is it more relevant in the pedestrian world that we are… owned by TomTom or is it more relevant that we have a big customer that is called Google?” said TeleAtlas CEO Alain de Taeye when asked whether he was intimidated by the prospective Nokia-Navteq combination. Speaking at the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in Paris, De Taeye said it was false to assume that there were now only four players in the navigation world: Nokia, Navteq, TomTom and Tele Atlas, when Nokia considered Google one of its main competitors. Both Navteq and Tele Atlas — the only two global digital map makers — supply Google.

  •