Peers And Loathing In Las Vegas

The festivities haven’t even officially begun and the AAAA media conference is already proving to be an interesting game of one-ups-manship. First OMD chief Joe Uva trumps the conference news by announcing his move to CEO of Spanish-language media giant Univision on the eve of the show, then GroupM chief Irwin Gotlieb shows up in a cushy, tone-setter story in today’s Wall Street Journal framing the conference’s agenda. That’s odd, because Gotlieb is the boss of GroupM North America and MindShare chief Marc Goldstein, who’s the official chair of this year’s AAAA media conference. In case you didn’t catch the Journal piece, Gotlieb’s best – and most telling – quip comes at the end of his response to a question about Madison Avenue’s reticence toward the marketer-back test of eBay’s trading system for media. “Frankly, I have no interest in playing on a level playing field,” Gotlieb told the Journal. That, of course, is what some marketers would like to see come out of an electronic trading system – a level playing field. Others, especially the biggest ones, we hear, do not. They’re happy with the status quo and with powerful and astute media buying stewards like Irwin Gotlieb handling those decisions. Someone who won’t be handling them much longer is Joe Uva, Gotlieb’s counterpart at Omnicom for the past several years, who’s saying adios to Madison Avenue. Or maybe it’s more of a hasta la vista? As CEO of Univision, Uva will no doubt be paying plenty of calls on his old agency cohorts, not to mention their clients. It’s a big move for a media buyer to run a major media conglomerate, and I cannot remember the last time an agency media chief made the leap from an agency to CEO of a major corporation. If you can think of any, please post your comments to this post.
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