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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All Change in Agency Land

It wasn’t so very long ago that the industry’s trade press was full of articles berating the agency community for being resistant to change. The common thread being that in a world that is changing so fast the agencies were lagging behind.

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Why BARB is Right

It is rare for arcane audience measurement issues to take centre stage, but that is just what has happened in the UK as YouTube has had its attempts to join BARB, the joint industry service responsible for measuring TV audiences rejected.

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Supporting the News

The great thing about being an easy come easy go blogger is that you are in a position to do your best to argue a point without having the onerous burden of actually having to put into action whatever it is you’re discussing this week.

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Paying for Planning

Who should pay for communications planning? Why are advertisers apparently so set against the idea of paying network agencies for a service most know full well is an essential part of any campaign?

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Absence

I’m on holiday so no Cog Blog posts till the first week of May. I’m sure you’ll struggle through.

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The Challenge Ahead for Media Agencies: A Sick Goose

The network media agencies are full of contradictions. On the one hand, they have smart people who talk knowledgeably about the pressing issues of our time. On the other they make oh-so-secret deals designed to benefit themselves, over and above the needs of their clients. Read more

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Google On

The Google/YouTube problems concerning ad placements rumbles on. More ink (or should that be pixels?) has been consumed on this than on almost any other recent media story in a rush to apportion blame.

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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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