OPINION: Creative shops beware as media sets the pace

We at Campaign are in a privileged position. Like anyone in the industry, we see the dramatic changes that are taking place within the business. Unlike anyone else, we are talking about these changes continually with those who run agencies, with clients and with media owners.

We at Campaign are in a privileged position. Like anyone in the

industry, we see the dramatic changes that are taking place within the

business. Unlike anyone else, we are talking about these changes

continually with those who run agencies, with clients and with media

owners.



’Are things boring or is it just us?’ is a question that is occupying

some of the best brains in agency boardrooms all over town. Where a few

years ago the talk would have been of who’s about to launch the next

(creative) agency, who’s about to buy which (creative) agency or who’s

doing the most ground-breaking work on which (creative) account, the

focus has moved to media. The concentration of monopoly media power,

digital TV, the growth of media independents, the setting up of buying

clubs between competitive agencies and the emergence of media

strategists to nip at the heels of the big media-buying points - all

indicate that media is taking the high ground at the expense of creative

issues.



While both media and creative disciplines have faced the same challenge

to their effectiveness and their margins, media has embraced the

uncertainty surrounding the quality of traditional methods of audience

measurement and the disintegration of television audiences by media

fragmentation and turned it into an opportunity.



In fact, it’s not the creative agencies or even the fancy-footwork

operators on the media-buying and selling stage that are setting the

pace. It’s the more entrepreneurial global powerhouses, such as Murdoch

and Disney, that are really in a position to develop and exploit

communications in the broadest sense.



So, next time an agency chief asks a Campaign reporter ’Is the agency

world boring or is it me?’ they’ll get the honest answer - ’You’re not

boring, exactly, it’s just that media is where the action is. And if you

don’t watch out, you’ll find yourself marginalised.’



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