Are you being served?

What are the challenges facing each medium in the digital age, and how well are their representatives - paid quite handsomely in membership fees - helping to overcome them? Media Week explores

Thirty years ago, big brand advertising typically consisted of a burst of TV, a press and poster campaign, a few magazine ads and maybe some radio. Then media planning got complicated.

With media fragmentation and the digital explosion, each medium has had to fight for its share of marketing spend. Trade bodies created by media owners have slugged it out to make sure their sector is suitably represented and rewarded.

But how well have trade bodies really served the media owners who pay for them? And, just as important, how far have they helped agencies and marketers increase their understanding?

Media Week asked the big trade bodies to map the changes and to mark their performance out of ten. We then got three media agency experts in each sector to rate them to create a median score. Harsh but fair.

Thinkbox, Lindsey Clay, chief execuive

Thinkbox is ten this year. We haven’t even hit puberty, but TV is all grown up.

1985 Two commercial channels; on-demand is VHS; TV is the TV set; 30-second spots rule; scant proof of TV’s effectiveness; no-one’s heard of Harvey the dog.

2005 TV in crisis; share of display nose-diving; myths go unchecked; broadcasters fight each other; predators circle to steal their lunch; image problem – arrogant, unfashionable, inefficient; internet fundamentalists dominate debate, give TV kidney punches and eye-watering wedgies; still no-one’s heard of Harvey the dog. Thinkbox created.

2015 TV’s mojo is back; facts are known and nickable; millions of people have heard of Harvey the dog; TV’s 100 per cent digital; multichannel means happier, better-served audiences; spot, sponsorship, AFP, PP, VoD, addressable, partnership…; watch telly on the bus on your phone; TV + internet is marketing nirvana; mountains of evidence prove TV’s unrivalled effectiveness; TV ad revenues hit record high for fifth consecutive year; "TV remains and will continue to be the core brand advertising medium for the foreseeable future," Enders Analysis says.

Next TV’s future’s here; new TV landscape emerging with new commercial opportunities; understand it and help advertisers make the most of it.

We’ve only just begun.

Thinkbox rates itself 8/10

Industry rates Thinkbox 8/10

Newsworks, Rufus Olins, chief executive

From newspapers to newsbrands. What a journey. A new language for our industry is emerging – curation, aggregation, algorithm – with words that were not in our thinking ten years ago, let alone 30. Investment in technology, the strength of our brands and our journalism and the good luck of the English language mean some newsbrands now bestride the globe.

Newspapers have become just one manifestation of a modern newsbrand. The boundaries have come down and the bag of tricks available to journalists has never been more exciting. Newsbrands are now a pivotal part of the "always on" media ecosystem, feeding people with content and providing a trusted voice in a more competitive environment than ever before.

When Newsworks was created out of the Newspaper Marketing Agency, nearly three years ago, our most important role was to land the message that papers aren’t just paper any more. They are brands – newsbrands.

Now we are working with clients and agencies to understand how people actually consume news on all their devices. Is it defined by age, geography, class, or something else entirely?

How different are the millennials from the baby boomers and Generation X before them?

We don’t predict the future, though. As the late, great US media commentator David Carr put it: we all live in the present future now. Anyone who tries to predict the future will get clobbered.

Newsworks rates itself 8/10

Industry rates Newsworks 5/10

Radio Advertising Bureau, Lucy Barrett, client director

Radio is unlike any other medium in that both its biggest challenge and its biggest opportunity come from digital. The proliferation of digital services has changed the way consumers access media entertainment, but radio has ensured it continues to be relevant to listeners; available wherever and however they want it. As our recent Audio Now research demonstrated, the listeners’ love affair with radio shows no sign of diminishing in the face of alternatives.

Innovations such as Radioplayer, the Digital Audio Exchange, individual station apps and targeted online advertising all mean that radio offers advertisers new opportunities to connect with consumers. Over the past decade, consolidation has taken commercial radio from a complex offering of many different stations to a rich ecosystem consisting of defined local stations and the mass reach of branded national networks. This has helped facilitate the planning and buying process.

With more evidence of effectiveness accessible for radio than any other medium, the Radio Advertising Bureau will increasingly focus on best-practice creativity to enhance results. We also want to drive consideration for radio as a long-term brand-building tool. Commercial radio has proven remarkably resilient, with the RAB playing a vital role in this success.

RAB rates itself 8/10

Industry rates RAB 6/10

IAB, UK Guy Phillipson, chief executive

When Media Week was born in 1985, the World Wide Web was still four years away and it would be a whole decade before the first banner ad appeared.

Still rarely considered by advertisers when I took the helm at the IAB UK in 2005, we transformed the IAB to become a free resource and knowledge bank for marketers. The big ambition was to put
online on the agenda of every client in the UK.

Ten years on and, after more than 100 pieces of research and 400 inspirational events, digital advertising now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of total UK media spend – a world record. In 2008, we launched IAB Mobile and have helped that market grow to £1 billion. We’ve protected the medium (and consumers) through the Ad Choices programme for Online Behavioural Advertising and through the world-first Display Trading Standards Group for brand safety.

While, on the one hand, we’re developing new revenues through programmatic and native formats, we’re also working hard to solve technical issues around viewable impressions and actively fighting ad fraud.

IAB rates itself 8/10

Industry rates IAB 7/10

PPA, Barry McIlheney, chief executive

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, as they say in Belfast. On the one hand, everything over the past 30 years – the platforms, the routes to market, the newsstand, the ad world, the metrics, the very role of the publisher itself – has changed. And yet, at the same time, quality content from trusted brands has, if anything, only increased in importance. And, luckily, that’s the game we’re in.

For the PPA, the very same rules apply. We have a new name, new offices, a new regime – and we’re now much more of a modern membership network than a traditional trade body – but the fundamental mission remains the same: to promote, protect and advance our lovely members. And, most of the time, we rightly follow and serve, robustly supporting our members on their journeys from magazines to magazine media.

On certain issues, however – be it Leveson, the National Readership Survey, ABCs or, most recently, the launch of Magnetic – we also take the lead. And, with events such as the reinvigorated PPA Awards and the reinvented PPA Festival bigger and better every year, we are always working overtime to fulfil our galvanising role at the very hub of our sector.

PPA rates itself 5/10

Industry rates PPA 3/10

Outdoor Media Centre, Mark Craze, chairman

Over the past 30 years, outdoor has evolved from a bucket-and-paste medium to one of dynamism, impact and innovation. We have gone from selling panels on an annual basis to selling by the fortnight, week, day, hour, minute and even second. The medium that was the mainstay for advertising "booze and fags" now attracts all categories and is the only one regularly used by all other channels including Google and Facebook.

Consolidation among both buyers and sellers has allowed for huge investment in product, people, research and technology. The medium’s ability to deliver efficient mass reach has been an effective hedge against the growth in digital media.

In an ever-changing world, outdoor will continue to evolve as a result of advancing technology, continued investment and increasing audiences as consumers continue to spend more time "out of home".

Naren Patel, the chief executive of Primesight (who Craze this year replaced as the Outdoor Media Centre chairman), says: "At a time when other media are struggling to maintain share, the world’s oldest medium is the place to be seen and continues to grow share."

OMC rates itself 5/10

Industry rates OMC 5/10

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