Media Perspective: Philips shows right way for integrated pitches to develop

Test cricket is a proper team game. If your team's batsmen aren't firing at the same time as its bowlers, then it has little chance of winning a Test match - as England showed last weekend in the woeful defeat to Pakistan at The Oval.

The bowlers have been on fire this series but the batsmen collapsed twice in last week's match. Improvement is needed. If Graeme Swann, the England spin bowler much preoccupied with policemen, screwdrivers and a distressed pet cat, can manage to focus and take a sackful of wickets, surely it's not too much to expect England's batsmen to get their heads down for a Boycott-like spell at the crease?

Which leads me towards building on the theme of last week's column: the greater integration of media with creative. Increasingly, it's becoming hard for the two to function in isolation and the current Philips global digital pitch is a prime example of a client that is driving this change.

The electronics giant is holding a pitch that will see its global digital creative and global digital media awarded to one advertising group.

Omnicom, which via its DDB network is the incumbent on the creative account, will go head to head with Aegis, whose Carat network currently handles Philips' global media business.

There will be merits on both sides and clearly the creative thinking will be vital in a process that will pit the incumbent,Tribal, DDB's award-winning digital network, against Aegis' Isobar. However, it's vital for these two groups to demonstrate that their thinking is genuinely integrated as, in future, Philips' digital media could sit more closely with the creative than it will with the rest of the media business.

It sounds like Omnicom and Aegis will be required to demonstrate clear evidence that both their creative and media is top notch to have any chance of winning this one. Philips has a reputation as a tough, but fair, client that demands a lot from its agencies - I remember watching Sital Banerjee, its global head of media, use a speech at a media festival in Venice two years ago to slam media agencies for their "disregard and indifference" towards training their staff.

Having said that, it also seems capable of great loyalty, having been with Carat and DDB for many years. What is driving its process appears to be a recognition that media, especially in the digital space, needs to be more closely allied to the creative idea. It's something start-up digital media agencies seem to be aware of but it will be interesting to see if the big boys can adapt. Philips, rather than the global clients holding giant media-only processes driven by the need for savings, might just have discovered the model for media's future. Now its agencies must deliver.