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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Agency Management – Echoes of the Past

Disclosure – I have done work in the past for the7stars, mentioned here

Last week’s Cog Blog noted that out of the six major holding companies, the UK heads of three of them (Havas, Starcom, Carat) along with the EMEA President of OMD have all announced their departures.

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Changes, Changes

This post was going to be all about the new ‘Campaign’. But it would be remiss of me not to log that this was the week in which four out of the six holding company media operations lost a senior UK-based member of their management.

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Transparency Bites Aegis

Disclosure – I worked at Aegis from 1994 – 2000

‘Transparency’ as a topic isn’t going to go away, despite the holding companies (in particular) doing the corporate equivalent of sticking their fingers in their ears and dancing around going la-la-la.

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Uber and Fetch

You can’t turn your back on this industry for a second at the moment in case you miss a new launch/innovation/news/scandal. The Cog Blog was on a short break last week – which naturally meant that several of the above snuck up on me whilst I wasn’t paying attention.

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Agency Options

The last Cog Blog commented on the advance of the management consultancies into the territory traditionally occupied by media agencies, and asked what the agencies can do about this threat to their futures. This post considers the agencies’ options.

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Advance of the Management Consultancies

Last week’s Cog Blog discussed Accenture’s development of the next generation of product placement. This post explores more broadly how the management consultancies are extending their marketing services offering, thus challenging existing agencies.

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Enter Accenture With Mousetrap

It seems product placement is about to get sexy. Someone will without doubt invent a new phrase for it. I’m off to trademark VPI, or Virtual Product Integration.  Read more

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Agency Reboot

Michael Farmer, strategy consultant to several agencies and author of ‘Madison Avenue Manslaughter’ wrote an interesting piece on MediaVillage.com the other week in which he pointed out that even though the ANA has been (correctly) criticising agency practices for the last couple of years the agency’s own association, the 4A’s has hardly been robust in putting up any kind of counter argument.

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Facebook Struggles On

Procter and Gamble has been at the forefront of calling out agencies and digital platforms for their lack of transparency – contractual and financial in the case of the agencies, measurement-wise in the case of the major platforms.

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Au Revoir ‘Campaign’

I’ve always had a Marmite relationship with ‘Campaign’, whose final edition in its weekly format appeared last Thursday.

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Ducking and Diving

All of our careers are punctuated by what at the time seem like minor incidents but which we look back on as being representative of some larger principle.

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All That’s Right; All That’s Wrong

Last week saw an interesting piece by Mindshare’s Global CEO, Nick Emery published in ‘Campaign’, and widely circulated on social media. In case you missed it, here it is.

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The Networks’ Challenge

When I was a mere Coglet, working for an international agency was an ambition. Network ad agencies had the largest, most important clients with whom they had built relationships going back many years. There was the opportunity to learn from the best in the business, whilst experiencing how advertising worked elsewhere.

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Holiday Break

Hello – there is no Cog Blog this week as I’m on a short break. Back next week. I’m sure you’ll muddle through…!

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Rethinking Audience Research

It seems that everything these days has to be interpreted as black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. There’s no room any more for good old grey. This is not healthy; extreme positions mean there’s little room for discussion or constructive debate.

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Election Lessons

For the benefit of non-UK readers, last week we had a General Election. The Cog Blog is a politics-free (and click-bait-free) zone. We have never stooped to the classic ‘5 things you can learn from..’ trick, but for once there are some interesting lessons to be learned from the way our main political parties conducted their campaigns.

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Mergers and Closures

GroupM has announced that they intend merging two of their four media agencies, MEC and Maxus into one as yet un-named entity in order to release the funds needed to invest in the digital agency Essence. This raises some interesting questions.

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A Matter of Fact: Giving a Damn

Today the IPA (the UK ad agency trade body) and ISBA (the UK advertiser body) unveiled a joint initiative to highlight the need for accountable, transparent media audience data specifically within online media forms.

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