The Gospel According to Gary

Nobody in the UK ad business has ever heard of Gary Vaynerchuk. I know this as I’ve employed a research technique beloved by Gary himself: I asked a few people I know. Admittedly these people were gathered at the asi conference on audience measurement but, hey.

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Filling the Data Consultancy Vacuum

This post is in-part based on remarks made by me at the 2018 asi Conference

Last week was the annual asi International TV and Video Conference, held this year in Athens. The asi has become an institution: it’s been held 28 years’ consecutively, with this year’s delegates (and speakers) coming from countries as diverse as Russia, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, the USA, many mainland European markets, the Nordics and the UK.

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In-Housing Threatens Agencies

Who would be an agency these days? Pitch after pitch after pitch, controversy after controversy, new vendors every time you turn around, competition from (comparatively) new entrants. It’s no life for someone after a quiet life, that’s for sure.

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The Past Is All Around Us

Disclosure: BJ&A has done work for both Suzuki and the7stars

 It’s been a good few weeks for the old git community, even the Cynical Old Gits in honour of whom the Cog Blog is named. We’ve had the 30th anniversary of Zenith, the first of the media agencies to be spun off from the old full-service ad agency model; ‘Campaign’s 50th birthday; and only this week the 30th anniversary of the demise of the first real agency I worked in, Davidson Pearce.

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This Much I’ve Learned – Part One: Agencies

I’ve been in the ad business almost 50 years, starting as a messenger in an ad agency in the days when the UK had one commercial TV channel, and no commercial radio stations. Despite myself I’ve absorbed lessons, and so from time to time I’m going to devote the Cog Blog to attempting to summarise a few things I’ve learned.

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On Trust and Planning

Disclosure: BJ&A has done consultancy work for the7stars

 The latest survey by the media consultancy ID Comms on the degree to which advertisers trust their media agencies showed the lowest numbers yet with only 10% of advertisers rating trust in their media agency as ‘high’ or ‘very high’. 40% say that the level of trust is ‘low’, as against 29% a year ago.

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Just Do It Right

The latest Nike ad, featuring Colin Kaepernick (the American quarterback who started the controversial ‘take a knee’ protest) is stirring up quite a storm. No doubt as Nike intended.

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White Smoke from WPP

I don’t know Mark Read which I would estimate puts me in the same position as 99% of those offering him advice on how to do his job as the newly appointed CEO at WPP.

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The Meaning of Integration

25 years ago almost to the day I sat in the boardroom at the Leo Burnett building on West Wacker, Chicago trying to persuade Cathay Pacific to extend the agency’s relationship with them beyond traditional advertising.

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Where Did It All Go Wrong, George?

There’s an anecdote about the great Irish footballer George Best. He was lounging in a hotel bedroom with the then current Miss World waiting for room service. The waiter arrived with the ordered champagne. Entering the room and seeing two naked figures, at least one of whom he recognised he is said to have shaken his head: ‘Oh George, where did it all go wrong?’

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In With The Old

It is a common mistake to ignore history. We all do it, only realising it in later years when what is paraded as the latest thinking starts to look eerily familiar.

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Facebook, Fake News and Research

Facebook hasn’t exactly got a stellar reputation when it comes to numbers. Even the most rudimentary statistics (like how many people are on the platform) seem prone to what might perhaps politely be termed ‘a degree of variation’.

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What Are We Like?

Trinity Mirror’s insight team, working with House51, the strategic consultancy has produced an interesting piece of work called ‘Why we shouldn’t trust our gut instinct’. This looks at the behaviours and opinions of what the authors describe as ‘the people who populate adland’ as against those out there in the wider world.

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Castles in the Air

Last week’s Cog Blog post referred to Newsworks’ upcoming Effectiveness Summit, which has now upped and come. And very good it was too.

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The Ozone Layer

For some while now there has been talk that the UK’s major publishers need to collaborate in some way to compete with the likes of Facebook and Google. The case is obvious – ad revenue has been migrating to platforms who have managed the impressive con trick of persuading content creators to provide them with material at a fraction of its worth.

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HP Sauce

No, I’m not in Cannes, thanks for asking. One of the advantages of being your own boss is that you can choose to avoid such colossal bullshit-fests. Of course, there are diamonds in amongst the rubbish but I’m at that stage where I prefer to read about them. I would rather watch the World Cup on telly too.

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Accenture, Audits, Agencies

A few weeks ago we featured an interview given by Mark Read, now joint COO at the post-Sorrell WPP in which he stressed the importance of the group focussing more on clients and less on internal matters.

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Sir Martin Sorrell and the Paperclip

‘Advertising is a people business’ and ‘The assets go up and down in the lift each day’ are two of the most popular clichés around. Even (or especially) in this programmatic world and the launch of Accenture Interactive’s media operation – something that incidentally seems to be happening without a huge media name at the top of it. Read more

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Accenture – Conflict or Competition?

Much heat was generated last week around Accenture Interactive’s announcement that they were entering the programmatic media buying business. Social media was full of posts from the media auditor community (Accenture is of course a media auditor, and consultant, occasionally running pitches), as well as much harrumphing from the media agencies.

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Newsworks Joins the Effectiveness Party

A longer version of this post appeared on MediaTel Newsline on May 10th

Much of what we refer to within the media world as measuring the effectiveness of advertising is in fact nothing of the sort. Rather we measure things that are comparatively easy to measure, like audience exposure, and convince ourselves that because something has been exposed it must have been noticed, and because it has been noticed it must have had an effect.

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