Sir Martin Sorrell

By now the world and his wife know that Sir Martin Sorrell has left WPP, the business he founded 33 years ago. I’m old enough to remember the ad world before WPP. Sorrell transformed his industry – and there aren’t many in any field who can legitimately claim to have done that.

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Facebook and Out

We are living in a world of short attention spans, where detail is almost derided and tweets trump well-argued hypotheses.

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Facebook Fall-Out

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal has thrown up a surprising number of people with an apparent expertise in data analytics and a detailed knowledge on how one goes about scraping personal information from a very large social media site.

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Facebook, ‘The Guardian’ and Cambridge Analytica

There’s very little doubt that the story of the week (year, decade even) concerns Facebook, the use made of data from their platform by Cambridge Analytica and the consequences of the resulting micro-targeting as used in an election, maybe even one near you.

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Following Procter and Unilever

Over the last few weeks we’ve heard the views of two of the largest advertisers on the planet on the current state of the media and advertising businesses.

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Trade Bodies Rule

What the heck has happened to the industry’s trade bodies? And can we all have a sip of whatever it is they’ve been drinking?

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P&G, Integration and Siloes

To read the headlines you would think we live in a curiously binary world. Facebook’s wonderful; Facebook’s on its last legs. TV is dead; TV is still the most effective medium ever invented; printed media forms cannot survive; print circulations increase as readers seek the truth behind the stories.

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Facebook Woes

Facebook is having a bit of a moment – and not in a good way. Users are apparently falling away, rumours swirl around Russian FB ads/influence over the US (and maybe other) election(s), Edelmen has concluded that ‘social media news’ is not to be trusted, the AdContrarian is calling for Mark Zuckerberg to go, and Unilever’s CMO Keith Weed is, as we said last week suggesting that his business will no longer “Invest in platforms that do not protect children or which create division in society and promote anger or hate.”

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Planning Collaboration versus Buying Confrontation

A couple of weeks ago the Cog Blog commented on the growing importance of planning to the network agencies as they strive to replace the grey revenues lost to the era of transparency.

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There’s No Monopoly on Good Ideas (and Other Cliches)

If you’re a dedicated LinkedIn user, you’ll know that posts detailing ‘lessons from my extensive experience’ are hardly in short supply. It’s remarkable how many life-coaches there are out there. Given the mass of free advice it’s extraordinary that anyone, anywhere ever fails at anything.

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Pitches Signal Trouble for Some, Change for All

It is often said that pitches are the lifeblood of the agency business. Right now there must be quite a few agencies who could do without all the excitement.

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Planning and Buying at the Network Agencies

Being a simple chap, I like to divide the bulk of the media agency world up into planners and buyers. I know everyone has far smarter, and possibly more accurately descriptive job titles these days, but fundamentally you’re either a ‘hot’ buyer (driven by the deal) or a ‘cool’ planner (driven by the data).

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Creativity and Collaboration

Last week’s Cog Blog came up with three ‘C’ words as hopes for 2018: collaboration, creativity and context. Today’s post touches on two of them.

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Hopes for 2018

So here we are, at the start of a new year. Will the media roundabout slow so that we can all draw breath; or will it speed up, throwing those without a firm grasp off?

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The Year 2017

Disclaimer – we have done work in the past for the7stars

We’ve arrived at the last Cog Blog post of 2017. It’s been a bit of a year, hasn’t it?

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How To Win At Awards

I’ve been judging the annual Mediatel Media Research Awards. Well done to all who entered, taking on what is a major commitment. In the exact opposite of a spoiler I can assure you that this post contains zero details of shortlists, winners, losers or anything else relating to the judges’ decisions.

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Stopping Hate Versus Editorial Freedom

A UK campaign group called Stop Funding Hate has called on major advertisers to boycott certain newspapers, notably ‘The Daily Mail’, ‘The Daily Express’ and ‘The Sun’. This mirrors the actions of a similar group in the US called Sleeping Giants who have been particularly focussed on Breitbart.

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Describing Toast to a Martian

Everyone’s an expert in two things, their own job and advertising. Everyone has a point of view and at a time when we all have a social media presence it’s easy to confuse that with being an expert.

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Conference Time

Later this week I will be doing my annual chairing stint at the asi conference in Nice. This will as usual see the cream of the audience measurement world (yes I know, and me) gather to discuss a topic which in recent years has moved from the media back office to (if not centre stage) then certainly closer to the spotlight.

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Caring About the Work

In the old full-service days, people never used to go into ‘media’. They went into advertising and specialised in media. Or they went into sales, and specialised in selling ad space or time.

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