This CEO Says Media Companies And Ad Agencies Are Clueless

In a refreshingly honest assessment of the advertising industry, Koos Baker, chief executive officer of Naspers, a South African-based global media company, says advertising people are very good at assessing consumer behavior but lack the ability to properly predict future trends. And with an interesting lack of hubris, considering he runs one of the world's largest media companies, he admits most media companies are in a sad state of affairs today. He says, "I think it’s pretty tough, because the media houses are clueless. The average media company in the world is in pretty poor shape. A few will survive. A few newspapers will make the transition from a print product to an electronic product as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have done. And the Financial Times, which is perhaps the most successful example. In South Africa, you might have a few electronic news services - News24 and a couple of others - making it. But most media houses are as clueless as ad agencies."

Hmm. Usually it goes the other way around. Every person working in an advertising agency wishes they worked in Hollywood in some capacity. After all, it's more glamorous than Madison Avenue. Well, like everything in life, things tend to go both ways. LA-based movie marketing firm BLT Communications has launched BLT+, a new division which will focus on marketing consumer goods and services. From movies to toothpaste. Interesting. Of the new division, BLT Communications CEO CLive Baillie said, “BLT+ leverages our formidable Hollywood expertise to focus on entertainment based solutions for consumer packaged goods, gaming, electronics, retail, QSR, spirits, and other product categories. We can now offer all brands, as well as our existing clients, a full menu of marketing options. This is a big step forward in the the evolution of our company.” The new unit merges BLT’s Marketing and its Digital, Social and Mobile divisions formerly led by Richard Sankey and Julianne La Marche, respectively. Mr. Sankey and Ms. LaMarche now share co-President titles at BLT+, reporting to Mr. Baillie. The new division totals 60 employees, including agency creative teams and directors, technologists, brand strategists, designers, social, and event specialists.

It's not often you hear about a missing person's report in the ad world but that's what's happening over in China this week. The CEO of Edelman in China, Steven Cao, has not been to work for over a week. No, he's not on vacation. No one knows where he is. Apparently, the disappearance is said to be connected to his cooperation with Chinese authorities which, in China, can mean he's being held for questioning. Ad Age reports, "One possibility is that investigators sought to speak to Mr. Cao about his ties to a famous TV news anchor who was detained by prosecutors in mid-July. That anchor, Rui Chenggang, founded a PR company with Mr. Cao over a decade ago, and in 2007, Edelman bought a majority stake in that firm, Pegasus Communications." Reportedly, it's all part of a country-wide crackdown on corruption



1 comment about "This CEO Says Media Companies And Ad Agencies Are Clueless".
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  1. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, July 31, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.

    I have found is there is the old school media people and the new college age types. I have been working in media on the net for nearly 15 years daily. Prior to that sales and marketing for twenty years. I consider myself a very creative person and have fresh ideas about media and big data. Yet I see the problem I see the transition between the old analog days and digital has created a number of new problems. The new generation of digital junkies have came from college and not really understand what the previous analog generation was about. The new digital media person hardly understands how print, newspaper and magazines worked successfully. They grew up with a smart phone, databases and computers. It is the divide between the old and new generation of media people that is the problem.

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