Marketers say Sky Radio's "Pay to Play" Promos a Flop

Sky_radio This snippet just in from a listserv I read.  Original copy is from The Recorder newspaper (see bottom for source):

When plaintiff attorney Reed Kathrein agreed to be interviewed on a program that's piped through passenger headsets on some of America's largest airlines, he didn't balk at shelling out several thousands of dollars for the opportunity.

Many lawyers like the Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins partner find attractive the possibility of being featured on Sky Radio Network's Forbes Radio Channel. The program has featured impressive names such as Alan Dershowitz, David Boies, Dan Webb and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

But despite the appeal to lawyers' egos, many in the marketing departments of big firms aren't so enamored with the advertising opportunity.

Not only do marketers question how many travelers listen to the programming, they also object to the producers' sales techniques.

"It's frustrating from a marketing standpoint," said John Buchanan, director of communications at Heller Ehrman. "[Producers] go to the attorneys, and the attorneys don't have the bigger picture. They say, 'You are one of the leading attorneys in the country.' That is not actually accurate in some cases."

For Kathrein, it was seeing the names of some of his competitors that compelled him to agree to be interviewed. While Kathrein didn't name any of these lawyers, the company's Web site features prominently, for example, Melvyn Weiss, a partner with Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman.

"I wanted to test it to see if it reached any audience," said Kathrein. "It reached mostly lawyers, but that's good in a sense. In this business, a lot of what you do is referrals and reputation."

Sky Radio Network producer Stephen Murphy said it costs about $5,900 for each attorney to go on the program. Some of the guests, such as Kathrein, enjoy discounts, and with 30 percent of the show paid for through corporate sponsorship, some of the biggest names don't pay. For instance, Dershowitz, Boies, Webb and Lockyer didn't pay to go on the show. Larry Sonsini, according to the show's producers, did.

"It is a pay-to-play model," said Murphy......................................

For the rest of the story go to and search for Vanity Fare, The Recorder, November 30, 2005

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