The Blurring Lines Between Ad Tech And Agencies

Some say ad tech and automation are changing agencies by requiring them to have fewer people and more machines, while others maintain the tech simply calls for different people.

Another take is that tech companies are plucking people from agencies to come work for them directly.

That’s what I thought of with this morning’s news of Paul Longo moving from MediaVest to Accordant Media, and while you can’t point to one person moving from an agency to a tech company and declare a revolution, it’s clear the lines are blurring.

“I don’t know if I’m the best example of that,” Longo told me when I brought up the topic. “I’ve never seen myself as an agency guy,” he added, despite the fact that he has plenty of agency experience. (Before MediaVest, he was a tech guy at Microsoft.)

However, Longo believes “you can’t have an advertising conversation without it being a tech conversation” because “the lines have blurred so much.”

I’m not sure when exactly the lines blurred --although I guess that comes standard with the word “blur” -- but I reckon it has something to do with the “education” card that is often played.

I’ve heard some people scoff at the education card, calling it little more than a hollow pedestal the supposed educators have built for themselves, but for the most part I believe it’s a legitimate issue.

Confusing the space, however, is the fact that most of the people doing the educating are not from agencies, and mixing it up even more are the agencies (and even some brands) that have taken tech in-house to regain some power.

"Mixing colors" photo from Shutterstock.

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1 comment about "The Blurring Lines Between Ad Tech And Agencies".
  1. Hollis Thomases from Hollis Thomases , April 15, 2014 at 1:25 p.m.
    This piece is incredibly reaffirming, particularly this part: "I’ve heard some people scoff at the education card, calling it little more than a hollow pedestal the supposed educators have built for themselves, but for the most part I believe it’s a legitimate issue." How could it NOT be a legitimate issue. We're talking about an industry worth over $1 trillion a year basically in seismic upheaval, with more moving parts than ever, leading to ever more confusion, discomfort and even mistrust among those doing the decision-making. I assert that those doing the educating *should* come from outside the industry. How else can their explanations and evaluations be uninfluenced and unbiased?