BACKBITE

I once got happy with a rather important client who admitted that the world of TV trading remained a complete enigma, even after 15 years as a marketer - a sad reflection on clients and agencies alike.

I once got happy with a rather important client who admitted that

the world of TV trading remained a complete enigma, even after 15 years

as a marketer - a sad reflection on clients and agencies alike.



It took the whole TV trading debacle of last year to make clients admit

all was not well in the world of media buying. And, almost a year since

the first rumblings against the current system, the Incorporated Society

of British Advertisers last week held its own debate on the issues.



What’s clear from the seminar is that advertisers are now feeling more

empowered to ask questions of their media buyers and challenge the

jargon that has maintained the veil over the real deal dynamics. The

market needs clearing up, seems to be the message.



But perhaps - beside the greedy media owners and media buyers - there

are other villains in this piece who have yet to be fingered: the

clients themselves. How many advertisers are keen to stoke up debates

about TV trading to justify their role in life? And how many clients

with the word ’media’ on their business card go into overdrive to catch

the latest bandwagon which will raise their own profile with their

bosses and prove they’re doing their bit to improve margins?



My drinking partner never bothered to really understand the TV market

because he didn’t need to. He had recently shifted his media buying

account, on the face of it saving his company money, and he was looking

around for his next job. Why bother?



By remaining wilfully ignorant for so long, while at the same time

driving down media costs to murderous levels, many advertisers have

helped to create the TV trading monster that drives the market of today.

Now that ISBA has got the debate going, it’s time to strip out all the

vested interests. ISBA’s members have their own agendas which must not

be allowed to dictate the direction of change.



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