Thursday, November 8, 2018

One more for the DPOs

A long legal battle has concluded, with the Supreme Court upholding TRAI's tariff order, dismissing broadcasters' challenge.    

The entire Supreme Court ruling is summarized in one key sentence: “…the TRAI Act, being a statute conceived…to serve the interest of both broadcasters and consumers, must prevail…over the Copyright Act, which protects the property rights of broadcasters.” The rest is detail.

That line of thinking is unexceptionable. It responds to the petitioners’ argument, and states the priorities inarguably.

My argument is with the tariff order itself. I am surprised the broadcasters chose to challenge the copyright implication rather than to address its basic issues.

1. The underlying basis of the order, without which it is not implementable, is the myth that cable distribution is digital. Physically, in terms of technology, it is. But if digitization means the consumer has a choice, it is not. If digitization means clear and transparent reporting, it is not.

The truth is that digitization has failed. How many distribution platform operators (DPOs) have installed subscriber management systems? How many DPOs can tell you exactly how many subscribers they have, and what they buy? Even today a broadcaster and an MSO simply agree on a negotiated number and go on that basis. We’ve been through CAS and DAS, but no regulator, no government, no law has been able to make DPOs comply. What has changed now to make them? Issuing an order without being able to ensure compliance with it is just wishful thinking.

2. Why should price regulation in content delivery apply only to broadcasting, why not to OTT as well – Netflix, Hotstar, et al? In fact telecom and broadcasting share a regulator: TRAI. (Broadcasting is not even in its name; telecom is.) So why does the same regulator treat the two technology platforms differently in the matter of creative content delivery to the same consumer? (I’m not suggesting price regulation in OTT: I’m questioning it in broadcasting.) I’d like to believe it is an oversight, that it did not occur to anyone, but I’m having a hard time doing that.

3. Why regulate TV prices, in the first place – in a country that has no controls on the prices of steel and cement, or of biscuits, toothpaste, toilet soap, or hundreds of other products that are used by the poor and the middle class? In mobile telephony desperate competition has driven prices to unviable levels, inevitably compromising quality of service. Who in the country doesn’t suffer dropped calls? Yet the same regulator neither enforces quality of service standards nor regulates pricing in that sector. Inexplicable.

4. A pay channel in a bouquet cannot be priced at more than Rs 19/-. You can discount the a la carte price as much as you like, provided the discounted price is no more than Rs 19/-: the price of barely 3 days of your daily newspaper, for 24X7 content. Based on what economics?

5. The regulator in its wisdom does choose to regulate prices. The MRPs of bouquets and the a la carte prices single channels are declared, and let’s accept that the consumer pays no more than those. But how much is the MSO actually paying for it: what is the discounted price, and therefore the MSO’s margin?

6. When CAS started, in 2007, the Basic Service Tier was 30 FTA channels for Rs 80/-. Now it is 100 FTA channels for Rs 130/-: that’s a 50% reduction in the prorated price per channel. Eleven years later how is that even viable? Have anyone’s costs gone that way: the broadcaster’s, the distributor’s, or the consumer’s? Anyone who thinks the distribution channels will take the inevitable hit shouldn’t worry too much. It is the rare home that will settle only for the 100 FTA channels. With discounted prices and unknown subscriber numbers, there is enough and more wiggle room.

And, oh, which 100 FTA channels, of the nearly 900 in the country? 24 of the 100 mandatorily have to be DD and Parliament channels, so there are actually 76 slots available. Do you want yours to be among them? That’ll cost you.

If all that seems somewhat overstated, consider this. When this case was in the Madras High Court it was the All-India Digital Cable Federation that joined it as an intervener, alongside the TRAI. Enough said.

In most businesses in India everything works in favour of the middleman, and broadcasting is no exception. Governments have come and gone; technology has changed; the structure of the broadcasting industry has changed; but, “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. (The more things change, the more they remain the same.)

First published in Impact, 11th Nov 2018


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Why Sports Broadcasting Is Becoming A Lose-Lose Game

Sports broadcasters, losing audiences and revenue, will have to lower their bids for broadcasting rights, in order to remain viable

It surprised no one. Ever since the Supreme Court ruled, in September 2017, that Doordarshan could not share its free, mandatory-sharing feed with cable and satellite operators, it was widely expected that sooner or later the government would attempt to find a way around. Now, true to the script, the I&B Ministry proposes an amendment to the 10-year old Sports Broadcasting Signals Act.  


In October 2005 the Union Cabinet made it mandatory for broadcasting rights holders of major sporting events to share their signal with Doordarshan (DD). The argument was that as a large number of people do not have and cannot afford access to cable and satellite television, and so cannot watch “sporting events of national importance”, sports broadcasters must provide their signal to DD, to reach those audiences. Needless to say, “sporting events of national importance” was largely a euphemism for cricket matches.
In 2007 Nimbus (owner of Neo Sports) challenged the directive in court. The government immediately promulgated an ordinance and then, with remarkable speed, enacted a law. The court case dragged on, and in 2013 Star and ESPN impleaded themselves in it.
Meanwhile DD freely misused its privilege. Given the feed to carry only on its terrestrial and free DTH networks, it aired the matches on its cable and satellite channels, too. All cable and DTH operators must mandatorily carry and deliver two DD channels at no cost to DD or the subscriber. They were now getting the content for free and did not have to subscribe to channels of the host broadcaster. So here’s what was happening: a broadcaster who had put hundreds of millions of dollars on the table to win the broadcasting rights for an event was providing the content free to DD, which was providing it free to the distribution channels, and so to viewers.
The implication for the broadcasting rights holder is, of course, loss of viewership and consequently financial loss. 
The broadcasters were arguing not against signal sharing, but against DD’s malpractice. In 2015 the Delhi High Court ruled in their favour and the government went to the Supreme Court, which in Sept 2017 upheld the High Court ruling.
So the issue at stake now is not the larger question of whether and why the rights holder should give their feed, but of DD running that on its cable and satellite networks. It is pertinent, though, to step back and look it the subject in its entirety.

Why, and why the haste?

Why is the government is so anxious to make this possible, whatever it takes? The speculation in the industry is that it is under pressure from the cable lobby. It is the cable trade that stands to benefit most from the content being available free on DD, and they have historically had more clout with the government of the day than the high-profile broadcasting industry has.  
The clearest evidence of that clout is their successfully stalling digitization for years, though it was in the interests of both consumers and broadcasters. One former I&B Minister candidly told me, in an informal one-to-one chat, that the government did not have the political will to confront the cable trade. On another occasion a former Chairman of the TRAI said, after a meeting with a delegation of news broadcasters, “Tomorrow we have a meeting on the same subject with cable operators. This room will be packed, there will be standing room only, and everyone will be shouting. They make themselves heard.” 
As this is clearly a matter of regulation, though, why is the regulator not involved in it? The system requires the government to make a reference to the TRAI, which then goes through a well-established process and gives direction. The trouble with the TRAI is that as an independent, constitutional authority it does not report to the government; and is thorough in its process, homework, and paperwork (even if you don’t always agree with its opinions and conclusions). This matter was referred to them, but in March 2014 they wrote back to the Ministry that, “TRAI has to follow its established consultative process before giving its recommendations,” and asked for clarifications and more information. Solution: bypass the regulator.
The rates broadcasters charge cable operators for pay channels have to be filed with the TRAI, but cable operators are free to charge consumers what they will, so they can raise their monthly subscription rates opportunistically. What came in the way of this gift to the cable trade was the existing legislation, as it categorically permits DD to transmit the shared signal only on its terrestrial and free DTH networks. Solution: amend the legislation. 
This move is consistent with the government’s moves to make DD’s free DTH service Freedish less attractive. About a year ago the Ministry abruptly called off the auction of slots on the platform because, they said, private sector broadcasters paid only Rs 6-8 crore for a slot but earned hundreds of crore in advertising. And, they said, because all that content was available to them Freedish subscribers were not watching DD channels. What they are still getting is to watch cricket for free. Make that free content available on cable and commercial DTH, and there goes the last reason to have Freedish.
The intention of starting the process now is clearly to enable the proposed amendment to be passed into law well in time for the trade to exploit the 2019 Cricket World Cup, starting in May. The other big event scheduled around the same time is, of course, the Lok Sabha election. What is the connection between the World Cup and the elections, you ask? Join the dots and see the picture. 

Substantive issues

The question of motive and timing is, admittedly, a matter largely of speculation and imputation. Keep that aside, though, and several substantive issues still remain to be addressed and answered.
No criteria or guidelines: There is no known basis to the list of “sporting events of national importance”. There are no criteria or guidelines: it is simply what the Ministry says it is, with the proviso that once an event is notified it will remain on the list for four years. 
What about those who don’t have a TV? Accept for a moment that this is a laudable effort to serve those who cannot afford cable and satellite TV. Is the government’s obligation limited to those who do have access to a TV? What about those who cannot afford one? Don’t they deserve to watch sporting events of national importance?  
Why a clean feed? Even without the proposed amendment the Act as it stands requires the rights holder to give DD what is called a clean feed, i.e., without graphics, commentary, and – most important – advertising. This is to enable DD to sell advertising time and earn revenue. 
If you are the host broadcaster, who has paid for this content, you have two sources of revenue: advertising and subscription. Let’s deal with advertising first. The content you paid for now reaches viewers of your network plus viewers of DD’s network, but the advertising you carry gets only to your viewers, and that is what you get paid for. DD earns from the advertising it carries to its audiences on the back of the content it got free from you. This is revenue that should rightfully have been yours. If signal sharing is only in the public interest, to enable a larger number of people to watch the event, surely the public interest does not require that DD should earn from it, at the cost of the rights holder. 
Why cable and satellite? The amendment now proposed seeks to legitimize what has been DD’s rampant malpractice for years. The inclusion of cable and commercial DTH platforms is against all logic. If the purpose of sharing the signal is to reach people who cannot afford cable and DTH, how does it even begin to make sense that DD be allowed to transmit its feed on cable and DTH? The loss of viewership is not notional or hypothetical: BARC data show that viewership on DD National or DD Sports can be as much as, and sometimes higher than, that on the channel of the rights holder.
The implication is clear. Cable and DTH operators get the event telecast for free from DD so they don’t have to buy it from the rights holder; and on the other hand are free to charge customers for it. The rights holder loses; DD doesn’t gain; and the customer pays for content that the cable operator has acquired for free. There is only one winner in this game, and it is not the customer.
Why the ticker? If you have been watching cricket on TV, other than on DD, after April 2018, you have seen the ticker at the bottom of the screen saying that what you are watching is available free on DD and on Freedish. This has to be the single most ridiculous requirement in this whole sorry matter. Not only are the rights holders required to give the content free to DD, they are also required to drive audiences away from themselves to DD. In what sense, by what criteria, can that be considered fair and reasonable?

If you starve the cow you won’t get milk 

The concept of “sporting events of national importance” can be argued for, and a case made for sharing the feed to reach a wider audience. The broadcasters have sensibly stayed away from that argument, even if they – understandably – don’t like it. The EU and several countries do have regulations in that regard, but they have specified criteria to determine whether an event is covered or is exempt from it. In India as the subject of mandatory sharing has moved over the years from executive order to ordnance to law it has remained entirely without a basis, and even the proposed amendment to the act does not address that lacuna.
Even if you accept something in principle, the execution of it must be on a fair, reasonable, and equitable basis. The only way that can be so in the present instance is if the signal shared is not the clean feed but the complete feed as transmitted by the host broadcaster, which includes the advertising; if DD is limited to transmitting it only on its terrestrial and Freedish networks; and if that ridiculous ticker is done away with. 
If the government continues its extortionate ways here is what will happen. Sports broadcasters, losing audiences and revenue, will have to lower their bids for broadcasting rights, in order to remain viable. Sports federations, for whom broadcasting rights are the major source of revenue, will have to make do with less, with direct consequences for the sports each of them represents. In this lose-lose game, the ultimate losers will be the sport and the viewing public whom this policy ought to serve.
First published in Business World, Nov 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

Issues of transparency in the Advertising business: what happens and why, and the way forward


 Paper presented at the conference on State of the Advertising Industry in India: A Critical Appraisal, at the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development, New Delhi, 16th-17th February 2018

When I was invited to speak at this conference I was surprised and delighted to see the subject of transparency on the agenda, and instantly chose to speak on that.

Surprised, because this was the first time I saw that subject up for discussion. Never before, in my career of over 40 years in advertising and the media, have I known it to be on the table. Delighted, because, being aware of a great deal that goes on, I thought it was high time it was.

I did wonder, though. Perhaps, in the last few years that I have not been actively involved in the business, the issue of transparency has come out in the open. After all, I did serve on the TAM Transparency Panel, which was the first time I heard the T word used in the context of the Advertising business. So I asked a few people currently in the business – media agency heads, CFOs and advertisers – and the answers were the same. Had they ever had, or known of, a discussion on transparency in an industry forum? No. Did they think transparency was a serious issue? Yes.

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

In the last two years the issue of transparency has come to the fore in the United States, the world’s biggest advertising market by far. It did so when, in March 2015, a former media agency CEO publicly blew the lid off the industry’s best-kept secret.

Speaking at a conference of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), former Mediacom CEO Jon Mandel said financial malpractice was so common and so widespread that it caused him to leave the agency business. "[Agencies] are not transparent about their actions,” he said. “They recommend or implement media that is off strategy or off target if it works for their financial gain."

This was not a conscience-stricken agency CEO, overcome with guilt and letting it all hang out.  He was speaking for a Media Transparency Taskforce set up by the ANA.

Following the findings of the task force, the ANA commissioned a consulting firm, K2 Intelligence, to conduct a full, formal study. The report, titled An Independent Study of Media Transparency in the U.S. Advertising Industry, is in the public domain and anyone who has a role in the buying or selling advertising services, space and time must read it.

The topline of the K2 report is, “There is a fundamental disconnect in the industry regarding the basic nature of the Advertiser-Agency relationship.”  

It goes on to say, “Neither agency professionals nor advertisers in K2’s sample expressed a uniform opinion as to how their relationship should be defined, or how it actually operates. Rather, there is substantial disagreement both within and between these groups about whether and when agencies are obligated to act in the best interest of their clients.” [Emphasis mine.]

Once you’ve said that, the rest is just detail.      

The immediate response of the 4A’s, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, was sadly defensive. Instead of acknowledging the problem – which everyone, most of all the 4A’s, knows is real – they said the K2 report “is anonymous, one-sided and paints the entire industry with the same negative brush”. That is not a fair comment because the report does have a section on “Factors enabling or contributing to the proliferation of non-transparent business practices”, which actually indicts advertisers, rather than agencies. More on that later.

Comments, statements and points-of-view followed, from industry bodies as well as individuals. A year later, in April 2017, the 4A’s invited Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of Procter & Gamble, to speak at its conference. He described the media supply chain as “murky at best and fraudulent at worst”. But, in a statesmanlike speech, he acknowledged the role of advertisers in the unhappy situation and proceeded to lay out P&G’s action plan. Across the Atlantic, in October 2017 the British government announced a full media buying review, “with transparency at heart”.

The discussion has centred on the media side of the business, especially digital, and is almost entirely about financial transparency. But when we speak of transparency we must not lose sight of intellectual transparency. 

Let’s face it: transparency in this context is simply a euphemism for integrity. So let’s call a spade a spade: the issue at stake is integrity, both intellectual and financial. Let’s consider the intellectual aspect first.

Perhaps the most common, everyday intellectual compromise is data fudging. A media agency’s work is founded in data, and presented in a bunch of numbers. Unless you have some understanding of the basis of those numbers you cannot ask the right questions, and can do little but accept what you are told. You can get a warm glow of accomplishment from questioning the inclusion or exclusion of a particular TV channel, but you’re tinkering at the margins. The truth is deep inside.

At a media agency I was heading some years ago we were compelled to resign an important MNC account. The local client and we had a great relationship, but our global corporate parents had decided to part ways. The business was up for pitch, and four agencies were shortlisted. The client then called me and asked us to evaluate the pitches: a great idea, since we knew the business and the background and had nothing at stake. We asked for the presentations as well as the detailed working papers. And here’s what we found: in all four cases the data shown in the presentation did not entirely match what was in the working papers. Much of it was made up.

Yes, the dishonesty starts with the pitch, and there is no reason to think it stops there.

Even if they don’t actually fudge the numbers, often an agency in a pitch does a great deal of window dressing to present recommendations that look cost-efficient above all else: prioritizing efficiency over effectiveness. In the context of media management effectiveness is buying the optimal plan at the best possible price; efficiency is buying cheap whatever you buy. Efficiency is directly measurable, in money – CPRP, CPT, Effective Rate, or whichever measure you choose – while effectiveness most often has no objective measure: it is contextual and judgmental.  

This is at the client-facing level: the front office, so to speak. Behind, there is a plethora of practices, even whole organization structures, designed to get the agency financial advantages unknown to its clients and outside the terms of its contracts – in my book, the very definition of financial malpractice.

The most ubiquitous practice is, of course, rebating: Agency Volume Bonus, or AVB. Increasingly, client-agency contracts require the agency to pass on all discounts and benefits over and above its contracted fee or commission. But that’s again one of those things that give a warm glow of satisfaction to those who create them but are meaningless in practice. It doesn’t take a genius to do the paperwork such that the rebates cannot be associated with specific clients, or even show up in the agency’s books.

In my agency some of our global clients had audit rights. Their auditors made surprise visits, but not one of them ever found, after inspecting our books, a single rupee going astray. Were we not taking AVB’s? Of course we were. And we passed most of those rebates on to our clients, but not because we were holier-than-thou. It was only because our jobs were at risk. CEOs and CFOs were under threat of dismissal if we sat on any money that rightfully belonged to those clients. Was the global management holier-than-thou? Of course not. They didn’t care what you did to deliver the financial results as long as you didn’t get caught doing it.

Digital media are rarely, if ever, bought directly from the publisher. Often the media agency buys from a sister company that belongs to its holding company, or even is its own subsidiary. The agency may on paper make only the contracted commission and nothing more, but no one knows how much the selling company made. In programmatic buying there is an unknown number of links in the value chain between publisher and media agency, and several of them could belong to the agency holding company or to the agency itself. In the process, the cost to the advertiser could be anything up to fifty times what actually reaches the publisher.

Even after all that multilayered buying with hidden margins advertisers are not sure of what they get for their money. Early last year the so-called YouTube brand safety scandal broke, when brand owners found their ads appearing with all kinds of undesirable and inappropriate content. Shocked advertisers reviewed their buying processes, and many started whitelisting sites for their ads. Procter & Gamble dropped 70% of the sites it was using.

Enough about what is happening.  Let’s talk about why it’s happening.

“There are none so blind as those who will not see”

First, whatever its causes, the situation is perpetuated by ignorance, apathy and even denial.

The K2 study reports an amazing degree of ignorance and apathy. Many advertisers were unaware of the practice of rebating, and many were unaware if their agency contracts took a position on rebating. Yet others were generally aware of it, but took their agencies’ word that they did not engage in the practice and left it at that. And, again, that is in the world’s largest advertising market.

There is no organized information about India, but there is one interesting pointer. In 2014 EY conducted a study titled Reality Check: Fraud, Bribery and Corruption in India’s Media & Entertainment Industry”. An overwhelming 89% of respondents agreed there was an increase in the incidence of fraud in the previous two years in India as a whole; 56% agreed in relation to the M&E industry; but only 17% thought it had increased in their company.

So the incidence of fraud nearly doubled in the country and increased very substantially in my industry, but not much in my company! If the first step in solving a problem is to recognize it, we are clearly a long way away from solutions.

“As ye sow, so ye shall reap”

Coming back to the question, though, why do they do it? We are speaking here not of small shops and fly-by-night operators but of a 550-billion dollar global business, dominated by listed multinational holding companies, serving clients who in many cases spend tens of billions of dollars, and buying from media owners with tens of billions of dollars in advertising revenue.

K2’s lays the blame squarely on advertisers:

-       Pricing pressure:

o   Driving down agency fees, causing agencies to seek additional sources of revenue;
o   Shifting focus from strategy to price;
o   Demanding extended credit

-       Lacking subject matter expertise to assess media plans or protect their interests

-       Not fully exercising audit rights where they have them

In many cases the biggest advertisers want the agency to commit upfront specific rates for different media for a year, and expect it to bear any overruns. This is after they have already twisted its arm to accept an unviable fee. The agency does, but where do you – or they – think it gets the money? From rebates, arbitrage, and generally – let’s use the right term – cheating clients, including the very clients to whom it has committed rates.

It is unlikely that CMOs, CFOs and even CEOs of advertisers, for many of whom advertising is one of their top two or three heads of expenditure, are unaware of what happens. If they don’t know, they shouldn’t be in those jobs. If they know and choose to turn a blind eye, they shouldn’t be in those jobs.

Rance Crain, Editor-in-Chief of Advertising Age, wrote in 2015, soon after Mandel’s ANA speech, “It’s incredible how lethargic marketers are when it comes to policing the financial shenanigans of their agencies and the media.” The reason, he says, could be to keep agency fees low.     

Amazingly, Crain reports that after Mandel’s sensational speech advertisers were reluctant to believe that there was fraud, and the ANA was not quite keen to move forward on the findings of the task force it had set up. “Some marketers don’t care how much revenue agencies get from other sources,” he says, “as long as they can keep agency fees low.” It’s not just that they don’t know. They don’t want to know.

Marketers all too often have a very limited understanding of the increasingly complex media landscape and how it works. We saw that starkly demonstrated during the formation of BARC, the Broadcast Audience Research Council. It was initiated as a joint venture of the industry bodies of broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies. Somewhere along the line two of them – the broadcasters and the advertisers – decided they didn’t need the third, the agencies: it was the advertisers’ money and the broadcasters’ product, so why have the middleman at the table? It didn’t take long for them to realize that between them even at the level of the industry, at the national level – let alone of a single company – they did not have the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding. They came back to the agencies and asked them to come back in.

If Marketing doesn’t know enough about media, Finance and Procurement know even less. What they can understand is the number that shows up in the agency contract. Procurement departments are required to show how much they saved, and they can happily report the difference between what the agency asked for and what it settled for.  The pity of it is they are only pinching pennies, never mind how much real money leaks out as long as the leaks are invisible.

Negotiating with one client after a new business pitch, I was asking for 2.5% commission and they were offering 2%. I pointed out that what was in contention was only 0.5% of their media budget, but 20% of my revenue, which for me was the difference between profit and loss. They didn’t budge, and I declined the business.

Consider the implication of that. All the time and effort we put into the pitch was now down the drain. The client, on the other hand, now had for free the work and thinking of what in their view was the best agency in the pitch, which they could make use of while hiring the cheapest agency. What I should have done was to accept the 2% commission and make money on the side. That’s the way business is done today across the world, not only in India.

If you hire and pay someone for buying cheap rather than right, that is what they will do. Agencies have the expertise you need critically but don’t have. If you don’t pay them fairly they will find other ways to make money – without your knowledge, but at your cost. 

Over time market forces have shaped the operating model into one in which agencies have reduced commissions to patently untenable levels because that is no more their main source of revenue and profit. Thus far advertisers have turned a blind eye to it, but the underlying corruption – again, let’s use the right word – is now out in the open and it is increasingly hard to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Now comes the hard part

The public revelation of the state of affairs is a starting point, but it is only a potential starting point in a long, hard journey. Revelation must be followed by recognition; and only then can there be a resolution.

While the K2 report revealed their misdemeanours it was actually quite sympathetic with agencies, blaming advertisers for creating the compulsions. Ironically, neither side was happy. The agencies were immediately defensive: to say, “Yes, but you forced me into this,” would be to implicitly acknowledge that there was wrongdoing, in the first place. Advertisers were slow to acknowledge the wrongdoing of the agencies, because to do so would be to accept that they were asleep at the switch: and so their complicity, even if passive.

In the last couple of years many advertisers have reviewed and renewed their contracts to plug loopholes, and many are taking digital media buying in-house. Of course, taking it in-house does not ensure that there aren’t multiple layers: it only means that now you are responsible for the whole thing.

For agencies it is potentially a double whammy: they lose the extra income they were making on the side but they can’t raise their commissions, which are untenable without that income. Some analysts believe the collapse of media agencies has already begun: holding companies have already begun reporting lower incomes. And some predict that digital will be followed by TV and other media buying going in-house.

Will this go away if you pay agencies more? Of course not. It has become a way of life. Personal corruption is easier to handle: this is institutionalized, industry-wide corruption. Whole corporate groups are structured around the opportunity to make earnings that are not legitimate. It will take years for new structures and new ways of doing business to come into being.

Out of evil cometh good

Maybe we are at the threshold of a renaissance of the advertising business. Maybe this churn will lead, in time, to a return to the best aspects of the past, when agencies were hired and paid for their counsel and expert knowledge.

Marc Pritchard says P&G are returning to a modern version of the full-service agency model, which was based on trust, transparency, and stable, long-term relationships.

Lead on, Pritchard, and may the world follow.



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