SMS Starling Media Services




Exodus Communications

I have worked with Elaine Starling of Starling Media Services, Inc. on Exodus Communications advertising since 1999. She delivers comprehensive media recommendations quickly for all types of media. Her experience and knowledge helped us make the best strategic decisions for our advertising programs. In addition SMS negotiated a lot of additional opportunities for Exodus, leveraging our budget to save almost $1.3 million in print alone on our 2001 plan. I highly recommend SMS to any company who needs superior service and outstanding media expertise.

Lauire Probst, Vice President Marketing Communications,

Pinnacle Systems

Just a short note to thank you for all the great work you have done for Pinnacle Systems. Over the past year, I have been extremely impressed with the quality of your work and your command of the media-planning/buying process—knowledge of all the relevant media types, extensive media contacts, and the ability to negotiate great pricing and extras.

I have also been impressed with your quick response to changing requests and your ability to work within ever-changing deadlines and budgets. In addition, your effervescent personality and professional "let's get the job done" attitude have made it a pleasure to work with you. I hope we have the opportunity to work together again soon.

Scott Taylor, Director, Global Brand Marketing Pinnacle Systems, Inc.,

"I was very impressed with the media planning you provided us, in particular the level of precision. You designed a 4 market test across a variety of media that not only tightly targeted an urban, social 20 something,but also was targeted in timing (holidays, seasonal, day of week). I remember that we needed to get radio and newspaper ads running in less than two weeks before Labor Day when I first started working with you. You were also incredibly pro-active with drop-dead dates for commiting to media and creative submission. Despite tight timelines and the crazy market conditions, you always came in under budget."

John M. McDonald, Director of Marketing,

Addtional comments:

In your experience, how does the media expertise of Starling Media Services compare to that of a full service agency?

The key benefit of SMS is that we deal face-to-face with the person who actually does the planning and buying, rather than via an Account Services layer in an agency. This accelerates response time and ensures that Media Planning and Buying is an integral part of the project team. This direct contact also enabled us to more easily involve Elaine in the overall marketing program as a member of the launch team.

Please describe what you think of the responsiveness and professionalism of Starling Media Services.

In our experience, SMS is very responsive to our various requests. It is also helpful that Elaine usually has a clear perspective and opinion about new media or emerging opportunities. She is very well aware of the shifts in the media scene. Elaine's professionalism is clearly top notch; she is discrete; consistently has the clients' interests at heart; and deals with unplanned changes rapidly, effectively and pleasantly.

How would you rate the savings and merchandising that you received through Starling Media Services? The total savings was 26% against an original budget of $2,500,000 net.

Frankly, unless one is very closely involved in buying or selling media space, it is difficult at the best of times to judge how good the rates are versus an outside benchmark or competition. Based on my past standards and knowledge of the current media environment, however, I believe that SMS obtained very competitive rates for Savvio at the time of purchase.

Would you recommend Starling Media Services to other companies?

I would not hesitate to recommend SMS' services to other companies; in particular to those who are in need of comprehensive media expertise as well as a rapid response service, and a "common sense" approach to planning.

What was most valuable/helpful in working with Starling Media Services?

Elaine's broad experience with various media, in particular in the consumer goods area, was very helpful in developing our overall media strategy. SMS also helped articulate clear and measurable media objectives that dovetailed with the overall marketing objectives of the campaign. Finally, Elaine has proven to be very flexible and reliable, and certainly works well under pressure.

Leo Spelt, Senior Vice President,

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