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Revamp plans unveiled for RAB

At a special conference being held today in central London, Andrew Harrison, CEO of the RadioCentre and Martina King, chairman of the RAB will address up to 120 advertisers, media planners and buyers from the media and creative world about the future benefits of radio advertising.

As part of the re-launch, the RAB are officially launching a new logo and mission statement – "activating radio in the digital age” which Harrison says “Will do exactly what it says on the tin.”

He continues: "There is no doubt that the RAB did a sterling job helping lift radio during the 1990s but the marketplace has changed in 15 years and that’s why we need a new RAB to shape and lead the industry for the next 15 years”.

The new-look RAB plan to promote radio in a whole new way, in the digital age. A new study into the iPod and how iPods and MP3 players are developing into complementary technologies, fulfilling different needs to radio.

[b]The RadioCentre Certificate of Excellence [/b]initiative will be launched in April 2007 and will recognise radio planning and buying excellence by media agencies. It will encourage investment in radio across several criteria but with particular emphasis on training and development for young media planners. The aim will be for all new media planners and buyers to go through a RAB training course and there will be a RadioCentre week-long internship programme for high flyers.

The main project for the oraganisation will be [b]Radio 3.0[/b]. The Radio 3.0 concept (pronounced three point zero) neatly summarises radio’s role in the digital age and how the medium has evolved to adapt to changes in the media ecology. Radio is now in its third generation: when it was first invented it was a static medium listened to in the home. Then came its second generation when it became portable and was used as an accompaniment whilst doing other things, e.g. driving in the car. Now radio is in its third age, the digital age, where it sits uniquely at the heart of convergence.

In other RAB news, Simon Redican has been appointed as RAB managing director. Simon has spent most of his career in media planning and is extremely well placed to understand the needs of media planners and buyers. His appointment will be a great complement to the advertiser background of RadioCentre CEO Andrew Harrison and the station and digital experience of RAB chairman Martina King.

Strengthening of the RAB Board will also take place across the coming months. Martina King will chair an operating board that includes the sales directors of all the stations. Nick Hewat, Virgin Radio; Duncan George, GCap Media; Karen Stacey, EMAP; Don Thomson, Chrysalis Radio; Adam Bullock, UTV Radio; Neil Webster, First Radio Sales; Julian Carter, Guardian Media Group.

In addition to the strengthening of the RAB board, an “RAB think tank” will be formed meeting quarterly, again under the strategic direction of Martina King. Sitting on the “RAB think tank” will be Fru Hazlitt, who will join as the new managing director for GCap London, the industry’s market leader; Morag Blazey, the CEO of PHD and head of radio at IPA; Derek Morris, former chairman of the RAB and chairman of ZenithOptimedia and Jon Wilkins, the founder of Naked. It is intended that two additional places will be filled by younger planners and nominations will be invited from media agencies.

Martina King said: “Radio is the natural complement to new media like the ipod and online. Commercial Radio still delivers the big UK audiences that a series of fragmented and global social networking sites can only dream about. These are the stories that need re-telling clearly and powerfully to rebuild momentum for the business and what we have talked about today will remind media buyers and planners that Commercial Radio is still a fantastic place to advertise.”

[link=https://radiotoday.co.uk]RadioToday.co.uk – non-stop radio news[/link] radionews@radiotoday.co.uk or call 0871 315 6 315

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