I’d like to take a few moments to honor the passing of a media giant. His name was Erwin Ephron and, for more than forty years, he gave us some of the clearest thinking about media strategy that I have ever seen. Mr. Ephron was an insightful researcher and a brilliant media theorist. He had a gift for simplifying tangled media issues and presenting them in an understandable way, always with delightful wit and unassailable logic. Just as important, he was able to bridge the gap between media theory and practical application in ways that made a real difference in the day-to-day work of media planning.
I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Ephron, much less the opportunity to work with him. We moved in different crowds, in different towns, and at very different levels of the advertising agency business. Although our paths never crossed, I’ve always regarded him as a mentor and one of the most influential teachers in my advertising career. Over the years I read and re-read Mr. Ephron’s articles on media planning and strategy – demographics, geographic targeting, advertising weight, reach & frequency realities and recency planning – everything I could get my hands on. Every time I confronted a new media challenge or lost my way in the rapidly changing media landscape, I would inevitably look to Erwin for help. And I would always find something that put me back on track, most often a bedrock media principle clearly explained and true as a compass.
Erwin Ephron left us in October. But the storehouse of media knowledge that he questioned, analyzed, explained and influenced stays with us forever. All of us who work in media planning share responsibility for carrying his insights forward. Thank you, Erwin, for lighting our path.