Media-mix and cross-media deals are all the rage. The major media agencies are all hard at work developing media-mix optimizers, and one can hardly pick up a copy of Advertising Age or other trade publications without encountering a story about the latest attempt at integrated, cross-platform marketing. Large media companies like AOL Time Warner and Viacom attempt to sell broad, multi-media deals in an attempt to demonstrate the virtues of their broad reach. Agencies use cross-platform concepts to show off their agility with media in its multitudinous contexts. Advertisers hope to capitalize on the media-rich environment of today and to surround consumers with congruent advertising messages. Oh yes, and they also hope to extract a decent discount from the media by virtue of increasing the size and value of the overall cross-platform deal. Indeed, more than one wag has suggested that the current vogue for cross-platform deals is merely discounting in drag.

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