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Marketers are No Longer in Control of Ads

Reuters reports that consumers are hijacking top global brands using blogs and online communities but some advertising companies are trying to find ways to embrace the revolution rather than fight against it.

The Internet has turned the traditional world of advertising "control freaks" on its head with a growing shift of spending to online from print and TV. The Web is giving millions of consumers an outlet for their views on products and brands, bypassing traditional media.

The Web is posing a fresh challenge to top firms eager to promote their products and enhance their image, against a tide of spoof advertising made by amateurs on the web.
"The power of the consumer being in control is scary if you come from a traditional marketing world," said Chris Dobson, vice president of international ad sales for Microsoft Corp.'s online business group. "There is a risk for brands," he added. "There is nowhere to hide online now."

The issue has been the most hotly debated topic at this year's weeklong Cannes Lions international advertising festival, where 8,000 industry executives convened. "Our audience has gone from watching commercials to making them," said Mark Tutssel, the chief creative officer for Leo Burnett Worldwide, a division of Publicis. "We've gone from monologue to dialogue in a nanosecond," he added. "Marketers are no longer in control. The consumer is."

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