Nadia Shchipitsyna
By Nadia Shchipitsyna
Sep 30, 2016 2:00:00 PM

#MediaSnack Ep. 45: Can We Just Get Excited About Media?


On this episode of #MediaSnack, Tom and David take an opportunity to look back across 2016 as a landmark year and indulge in looking ahead to 2017 in what they believe is likely to see a pivotal change in the future of the media industry.

They review their experiences this year, notably the ongoing impact of the ANA’s media transparency investigation, which is still causing after-shocks around the world (see last week’s #MediaSnack for details of the latest media transparency scandal, this time from Japan). The full results of the ANA shining a light on “non-transparent practices” are still to be seen, but ID Comms can feel the wind of change about to sweep the industry, driven largely by a mindset change amongst some major advertisers. Brands that may have been neglecting their media investment and not providing sufficient oversight and governance have been woken sharply by the ANA findings and global press coverage, and now they are starting to think differently. This is apparent in the number of brands taking time to properly consider their future requirements for media, at a strategic level. If you consider that many advertisers contract with agencies might be 3 or 4 years old, and they are starting to look 3 or 4 years in to the future, the media landscape has changed, and will change dramatically. So has consumer behaviour. So has the relationship between advertiser and their media agencies. So has the shape and design of marketing organisations themselves. Its all change and its gathering pace.

Download ID Comms 2016 Global Media Transparency Report

Just look at recent news that P&G have hired Gerry D’Angelo as global head of media, the closest thing to a Chief Media Officer that you’re likely to find. Brands are investing in media management again and are taking it seriously. Perhaps as brands start to look ahead and consider their future needs for media with a more strategic approach, so too are they rethinking their requirements from a media agency. Change in the media agency landscape has been happening this year, just look at Publicis Media's restructure, IPG’s media resurgence, Omnicom’s recent new business triumphs with innovative agency models. Tom and David expect this disruption and innovation to pick up even more pace into 2017 as more and more marketers make demands of a new kind of media agency service. One fit for a post-#RebateGate world.

One thing that may be a good illustration of this change in strategy is the recent news that GroupM have changed their global CEO, Kelly Clarke taken the reigns from Dominic Proctor. Is this indicative of a changing of the guard at the top positions of media agency groups? Perhaps we’ll see more of this in the next 12 months. Future leaders of media agencies are going to have a different set of challenges in the next five years to those faced across the last five years, not least in defending their businesses from the onslaught from management consultancies, AdTech companies and now from marketers looking to fundamentally re-design the agency resources.

Advertisers are going to be more forthright in their demands of agency resource and the terms of business, which will be somewhat painful for agencies to adjust to but ultimately will help them grow their businesses in new and exciting ways. The first part of this will be advertisers pushing to closer align their agencies to company business outcomes and incentivise them financially on some shared goals. This will (in time) flush concerns over transparency and conflict of interest out of the systems and leave us with a media agency landscape more in tune with advertisers requirements.

Change is coming. We’ve got to all move away from obsessing about cheaper pricing, bigger discounts and more (and more!) auditing as being what media is all about. Instead, the fear of the complexity of media must be replaced by the excitement in the opportunity of media. Let’s hope so.