#MediaSnack Ep.51 Bluster Wars? : Trump vs Gotlieb
On this episode of #MediaSnack we start with a consideration of the impact of Donald Trump's election this week as President-elect of the USA. Our friend Brian Wieser, senior analyst from Pivotal Research Group was the first off the block with his thoughts on how the global advertising industry could be affected. Brian posted his analyst perspectives at 3am NY time as the election result was just becoming clear - which means he'd devoted his evening to shaping thoughts, well done Brian.
His main observations were based on the economic, political and regulatory uncertainty, but also covered the impact of potential immigration restrictions especially for multi-national media companies such as media agency networks and ad platforms such as Google and Facebook. He also acknowledged the important role that Twitter plays in these type of global events, although they perhaps weren’t able to commercialise it fully yet.
We note the learnings that will surely come from Donald Trump’s unexpected triumph, notably with far less of a campaign war chest compared to the well-funded Hilary Clinton. A Bloomberg Politics report estimates Hilary’s funding exceeded $1bn whilst Trump managed a mere $512m - yet Trump dominated media coverage by a vast margin. Whether by accident or design Trump managed to leverage not just social media power (as Obama had done to huge success in 2012) but dominated mainstream media with his provocative narrative. Estimates are that Donald Trump generated over $2bn value of earned media in his race for POTUS.
Continuing the Trump theme, we refer to a piece written by Dominic Mills for Mediatel which made a parallel between Donald Trump’s “blusterous” style (in an attempt to avoid addressing difficult subjects) and comments made by GroupM Global Chairman Irwin Gotlieb at a recent conference in New York. At the Video Everywhere Summit on 28th October Irwin Gotlieb was asked about the media transparency reporting published this year by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). The ANA Media Transparency report highlighted a rift between advertiser and media agency and pushed trust between the two to new lows. But rather than try to bring parties together, which is what Irwin had called for back in 2015 and which Tom reported on from the ANA’s Advertising Financial Management Conference in Florida, he instead took the opportunity of his platform to further undermine the credibility of the ANA’s initiative.
“I’m going to be really harsh,” Gotlieb said candidly. “The entire effort was a biz-dev effort. … The ANA allowed themselves to be part of a third-party’s business development.”
Irwin is typically very careful with his words and would not have said such inflammatory things on a public stage in naivety. This was an intentional act designed to further undermine the credibility of a report designed for and funded by America’s largest advertisers, to benefit them. Dominic Mill’s comparison to Trump is not just timely, it's accurate. Brian Jacobs also wrote excellently about this on his recent Cog Blog, link below.
Finally, we bring news that Toyota, the car manufacturer who you will remember was recently at the centre of a dramatic over-billing scandal by their Japanese agency Dentsu, have (in unrelated matters) shifted their entire $300m media and creative business away from Publicis Groups agencies and into WPP without a pitch. The comments from Toyota suggest a client with a clarity of vision to create a blueprint for agency resources, as we’ve spoken many times about on #MediaSnack previously.