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THE MEDIA SEP 2018 e-book

Congratulations to the Media Agency of the Decade decade Johannesburg Johannesburg MEDIA AGENCY major benefit to clients having one trusted expert, with a holistic understanding of their brands and their market, data and channel planning. Having multiple agency partners to cater for various marketing needs is costly, both financially and in terms of time. The advantage that the consultants have is that they talk business rather than communications, explains De Nardis. A cursory look at any of the network offerings shows the rate at which the global players have developed specialisms, and these extend beyond their media companies. To take the example of WPP, the 2017 annual report shows that the group’s interests span advertising, media investment management, data investment management, public relations and public affairs, brand consulting, health and wellness, and specialist communication including digital, direct and interactive. It is little wonder that clients are somewhat bewildered by this array of expertise and are calling for simplification and new models. Before his departure from the group, Sir Martin Sorrell had coined the term “horizontality” to describe an approach to overcoming the vertical silos preventing group collaboration and as a way to harness the collective capabilities of the group to deliver optimum performance. Building bespoke solutions for clients, from such a broad range of disciplines, is no easy task. It either requires a truly intimate knowledge of what each client’s specific needs are, or clients who understand and can articulate their needs well. It is not a simple matter of reverting to a full-service model, but to determining what constitutes full service for each client. The starkest obstacle to collaboration is the all-important P&L. De Nardis argues that shared Ps and Ls are key to facilitating such solutions, and Rowlands seconds this, pointing out that Dentsu has led the pack, having adopted a one P&L per country structure. Clearly there are no fast or imminent answers to how media agencies will evolve in the broader marketing context. South Africa has the advantage of being able to draw from more advanced and differently evolving markets. Its media agency leaders are, on the whole, buoyant and bullish, keen to embrace the challenge of ongoing change and development. That suggests that they should be OK, or more than OK. • Having spent some decades working in media agencies, Britta Reid now relishes the opportunity to take an independent perspective on the South African media world, especially during this time of radical research transformation. P 26 The Media | wagthedog.co.za


THE MEDIA SEP 2018 e-book
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