Lessons from Google’s Woes

There’s really only been one media story this last week, and that’s the industry’s reaction to Google inadvertently placing ads alongside various deeply inappropriate YouTube videos.

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Shades of Grey

Writing a blog exposes you to all sorts of reactions – from complimentary through well-informed criticism and on to rude. Fortunately, by far the majority of people who respond to me aren’t rude; we may not agree but at least we can be civil about disagreeing.

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Industry Arrives at a Consensus on Online Advertising

It seems that the industry has at long last come together. We can all agree on one thing. There is a lot wrong with online advertising.

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Data Lessons from Politics

This week’s ‘Observer’ newspaper carried a lengthy piece on the work of Cambridge Analytica during both our EU Referendum campaign, and the US Election.

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On Trust

Trust is a pretty simple concept – either you trust someone or you don’t. If you do, then a handshake like the one that formed the only ever contract between Arnold Palmer and Mark McCormack could be all you need.

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The Media Agency Revolution

Sometimes revolutions sneak up on you; eras end and no-one even notices until one day you open their eyes and, well who knew? Read more

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A Period of Introspection?

Last week’s Cog Blog was enthusiastic in its praise for the speech given by P&G’s Marc Pritchard to the IAB leadership conference. We weren’t the only ones – Pritchard’s speech received rave reviews all over the world, with Mark Ritson calling it ‘the most important marketing speech in 20 years’. Read more

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Procter Leads

I grew up on the Procter and Gamble account.

For a media planning director in a newly appointed roster agency, P&G was scary. The established roster had some of the best media people in London, one of whom (John Perriss, then at Saatchi, soon to be the founder of Zenith) talked to me about what it was like to work on what he described as ‘the world’s best client’. Read more

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News Media: A Slither of Hope

It would be wonderfully ironic if Donald Trump, who seems to believe he’s in some sort of holy war against the established press, should prove to be the medium’s saviour. Read more

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Using Influence

Last week’s Cog Blog post expressed the hope that facts, and fact-based opinion would rebound in 2017. We need to banish the whole notion of fake news – a phrase that is already becoming the catch-all defence used by politicians to deflect questions they don’t wish to answer.

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Here We Go

Hello again and a belated Happy New Year! This is the season when we should all be full of hope for the future, so rather than making firm predictions (that can duly be proved wrong in time) this the first Cog Blog of 2017 will focus on hopes for the coming year. Read more

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That Was 2016 That Was

This is the last Cog Blog post of 2016, so it seems appropriate (even mandatory) to look back at some of the highlights (and lowlights) of this year. Read more

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Agencies in a Binary World

We’re living in a world that is becoming ever-more binary. Never mind that in life most things are nuanced, with light and shade, pros and cons on both sides of any argument. Today you have 140 words to express your opinion. In the echo chamber that is social media if you don’t agree with me, in my eyes you’re wrong. Read more

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Research Resurgent

It may seem an odd time to praise the research industry. After all, when it came to the two most significant public votes this year (the EU Referendum here and the US Presidential Election there), the market research industry managed to call both wrong. It’s hardly that they were even multiple choice, both were in effect ‘yes’/‘no’ questions. Read more

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Maintaining Editorial Independence

Last week in the UK, Lego, prompted by an online consumer campaign called Stop Funding Hate put out a statement that they would no longer be doing business with ‘The Daily Mail’. The campaign described the newspaper’s editorial position thus: (they) “create a distrust of foreigners” and “blame immigrants for everything”. Read more

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The Strange Case of Irwin Gotlieb and the Auditor

The first element within the ANA’s enquiry into agency rebates and other alleged malpractices was published back in June and contained the results of 150 confidential interviews with media practitioners. Its conclusions may have surprised many advertisers but I am yet to find anyone with an agency background who was shocked by the findings. Read more

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Agency Misery Levels Rise

There are indications that working in advertising agencies/media agencies isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Whilst it’s easy to say that that applies to almost any endeavour, there are reasons for those of us who care at all for the future of the industry to be concerned. Read more

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Priorities and Choices

Disclaimer: Although I will be chairing a session at the asi Conference mentioned here I have no commercial interest in either asi or the event.

Last week’s post touched on the importance of accurate, independent audience measurement. The reasons are clear; the joint industry or JIC system, used widely except in the USA (where a collaborative approach comes to much the same thing) may date back years but it has without question benefited the industry as a whole.

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Transparency, Measurement and Dogs with Fluffy Tails

People in media agencies are sometimes guilty of the sort of short-term behaviours they hate in their clients. Look online, or in the trade press and you’ll see a queue pontificating on the latest gadget, the newest tool, or today’s management insight.

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Geniuses, Editors, and a Dentsu Aegis Clarification

Anyone who ever glances at Linkedin will know that in amongst the recruitment requests, the company updates, the PR boasts and the occasional useful link are numerous thought pieces telling us all how to do our jobs better.

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