Industry Comes Together To Discuss Future; TV Is Completely Absent

Earlier this week I attended the Festival of Media Global in Rome, Italy, where I chaired all the sessions in a conference room aptly called “Pantheon.”

As you may know (or can find out on Wikipedia), the real Pantheon was originally built in honor of all the Roman Gods, but later turned into a Catholic house of worship. It is also the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome and is as such in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Believe it or not, but there was a new entry into that same Guinness Book of World Records accomplished during #FOMG14 as the event is known on Twitter. Banco Santander in Latin America was announced as the winner of the 'Record-breaking Brand' award.  The bank attracted more than 1.1 million players, setting a Guinness record for the 'Largest Sports Trivia Competition'.

More importantly, #FOMG14 brought together industry leaders such as OMD CEO Mainardo de Nardis; Lewis D’Vorkin, Chief Product Officer for Forbes Media; Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of comScore; Vince Gilligan, Creator and Executive Producer of Breaking Bad and its new offspring; Jon Matonis, Executive Director for the Bitcoin Foundation and Dominic Proctor, President of GroupM Global.

AOL’s digital prophet David Shing gave those who were asleep at the marketing wheel a rude awakening in the form of his trademark rapid-fire verbal onslaught (“we’re all doomed man, unless you learn about your consumers”).

Jay Sears, SVP, Market Development for the Rubicon Project and IPG’s Global CEO Matt Seiler interviewed each other, which resulted in an interesting conversation between two men with big ambitions in revolutionizing (read: automating) media buying.

And when I grow up, I want to be able to look back on a life like that of Jonathan Taplin. Today he is Director at the Annenberg Innovation Lab of the University of Southern California. But before that he was at one point manager for Bob Dylan and The Band as well as George Harrison, he was film producer for movies like Martin Scorcese’s Mean Streets, then an investment banker at Merrill Lynch after which he launched America’s first ever video on demand system in 1996, the patents of which are still valid today! He shared the stage with Dominique Delport, Global Managing Director of the French Havas Media Group and they jointly presented further demolishment of the establishment in an honest presentation on the successes and failures of content creation for marketing.

So what did we learn? That the industry continues its climb out of the hole that was the global depression of 2008. Steve King, CEO Worldwide for ZenithOptimedia, shared the latest global ad expenditure forecast: from +3.9% in 2013 to +5.5% in 2014 to +5.8% in 2015 to +6.1% in 2016. When I tweeted that especially mobile ad spend is driving this growth with +50% year on year it became my most retweeted tweet ever (that may also have to do with the fact that I used the word “Bazinga” in my tweet...).

Martin Riley, Pernod-Ricard’s CMO and World Federation of Advertisers President, stated that TV is not to be written off yet, but CEO Bob Pittman from ClearChannel said there are clearly too many dollars allocated by marketers to TV budgets. Obviously he would say that, given the business he leads.

 

What I found most telling, though, is that we had two days of media high flyers from across the industry spectrum representing buyers, sellers, measurers and disrupters and not one represented a TV network. For conferences, apparently TV is already dead.

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4 comments about "Industry Comes Together To Discuss Future; TV Is Completely Absent".
  1. George Parker from Parker Consultants , April 14, 2014 at 1:26 p.m.
    If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that TV is dead, I'd be a billionaire. Remember, they said that about radio in the fifties. Cheers/George "AdScam" Parker
  2. Christopher Sanders from The Ingredients Group , April 14, 2014 at 2:06 p.m.
    Or perhaps the TV Media Owners (in the US) are too busy getting ready to collect on the $20B+ Upfronts? Or, that conferences called "Festival of Media - Pantheon" do not appropriately position themselves about talking about anything other than why TV should not have so much ad dollars dedicated to "the dying medium". Advertisers are profit-driven, as better reach-vehicles appear, they will and do invest. TV in the US will be almost $80B this year . . . digital (all forms: search, mobile, video, display) about half that . . . and with greatly varying degrees of effectiveness. TV's strength is the surprisingly resiliency of the time spent numbers, reach and that you get 100% of the screen for 100% SOV for :15-:60 seconds . . . very few online ads are as effective . . .and, that's why we see ALOT of (TV Media) people at Cannes. It focuses on the strength of the creative, story telling and ad quality . . .
  3. Maarten Albarda from MLA Consulting LLC , April 14, 2014 at 4:01 p.m.
    @George Parker and @ Christopher Sanders: I am not saying TV is dead. But having a global media conference "sans TV" (apart from a content producer) is saying something... I am personally not against TV, but favor a consumer centric approach. With the right consumer insights this could lead to 65% TV or 0% of TV in a plan. We shouldn't care either way as long as the % is the right % from a target audience interaction and engagement POV.
  4. Doug Garnett from Atomic Direct , April 14, 2014 at 5:44 p.m.
    There are a lot if prejudicial reasons for a reported lack of TV here. One being that agency execs have a very poor track record for predicting the future. In the world of agencies, shiny baubles get the attention. All we can conclude from this reported lack of TV presence is that TV isn't a shiny bauble for them. As to the other shiny baubles? History shows the vast majority will be wash outs. So there's really not much to be made from this apparent report.