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Advertisers Demanding Multiplatform Strategy

New York Times reports that the expression "think outside the box" has been overused enough to become jargon. But for a few hours it was appropriate, as local television stations were urged to diversify beyond their 'TV set' boxes, to remain relevant � and profitable � in the new digital age.

"Conventional wisdom, it's an enemy at a time like this," said Beth Comstock, president for digital media and market development at NBC Universal. "In media today, I don't think there is a single rule that can't � and frankly, probably shouldn't � be broken. "This isn't just about driving growth," she added. "It's about staying in business."

Her call to action came at the annual marketing conference sponsored by the Television Bureau of Advertising, an organization that promotes broadcast TV as a medium. For the first time, the conference was devoted to a single topic: the importance of the "multiplatform" � that is, offering content and advertising not only on local broadcast stations but also online, on cellphones and other wireless devices, through video on demand and on video iPods.

The sole topic was intended to underscore that "advertisers and their agencies are increasingly asking for � make that demanding � a multiplatform strategy from all their media partners," said Christopher Rohrs, president of the bureau, in a speech he gave to almost 1,200 attendees to begin the conference.

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