“The Vanishing Mass Market” was the cover story, a special report, in the July 12, 2004 issue.

David Esrati, Cheif Creative Officer and Owner of The Next Wave, had his letter published among 3 others including Laurence Feldman, Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the University of Illinois.

“With more media options than ever, which should have improved segmentation, advertisers now find formulaic media. Clear Channel radio stations sound the same in Portland OR as they do in Portland ME. The same is true for Network and local news, magazines, and newspapers.

The great copywriter Howard Luck Gossage predicted that when the revenue from advertising exceeded the revenue from subscribers for print publications, the content wouldn’t be worth paying for. Forty years later, we’re paying the price with media outlets fearing offending the advertisers, or, worse yet, their corporate masters stock price by doing anything that different from the next guy.

When your product becomes homogenized, it loses value to the advertiser faster than it does to the consumer. But the real problem was there was never really a mass market to begin with, just big players in a small sandbox. Now advertisers are forced to think smarter about how to connect, and in this new world, formulaic media isn’t going to cut it.”