Between the Lines: AFP expertise are a must

Ad agencies might relish the prospect of taking clients' brands into new communications areas, but they've a long way to go before they can compete with the established players in the market. Today's news that Endemol is developing live ad opportunities for advertisers (page 1) shows how the market is limbering up. Lynx, too, is using Cake to develop a 24-hour music and dating event to air on mainstream TV across Europe.

If ad agencies are going to defend their income in the face of media fragmentation, they have to develop expertise in the marketing channels of the future.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty and WCRS are both working on advertiser-funded TV ideas for their respective Audi and BMW clients. But too many agencies either ignore the problem, or allow developments such as AFP to be the poodle of a couple of excited creatives who fancy getting into programme-making.

There's an industry of TV experts out there gunning for the advertiser's purse and agencies ignore it at their peril.

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