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December 01, 2014


Media agencies have systems and tools. Some of these are bollocks ... some are designed to stop individual talent from flourishing or challenging ... but some are about ensuring there is a clear focus on the challenge and the objective.

Creative agencies rarely have this. They view them as obstacles to creativity. In a lot of cases, they're right ... but in the right hands, obstacles ignite creativity rather than stifle it.

But I guess what I'm saying is that while I believe it's not a case of one discipline over the other - and ultimately, success is as much about the individuals talent and approach than the process they follow - I respect media agencies for their rigour and desire to push forward even though [1] the effectiveness they claim is often down to questionable methodologies [2] their need to be quantifiable sometimes limits them from embracing opportunities they see, but can't validate and [3] the quest to progress is driven by their commercial needs rather than necessarily market changes.

That said, a great media person is worth their weight in gold and I'm glad I started out in full-service land where I got to appreciate what they add rather than simply define them as 'the people that place stuff in channels' ... which is both patronising, naive and wrong.

What are you doing here? I'm guessing taking your mind off the waiting
All great points, especially the 'stop the my side of the fence is better than yours'
I do think though that what SOME media folks recommend has become a lot less about what they can sell or what they can measure recently

Yes I agree, though that is more down to the individual than the company ethos. But all that aside, Michaelides and Bednash were thinking like this back when I worked in the UK which is a very, very, very long time ago.

And why am I here? Because I have no blog to write and no baby to report.

i found my feet, strategically, in a large media agency, after being in digital agencies and publishers.

i went back to digital inevitably, but i do think everything you are saying here rings true. i was treated better than i was at any other agency, learned a lot, worked alongside and for very experienced people who inspired and nurtured me.

the main point i disagree with is this:

"We have no choice but to work with the very, very best in their field. Who knows social media better than Twitter? "

Not sure if it's just the experience i've had in USA, but the reps of social media platforms are little more than sales people here who actually don't look to solve problems in the same way any kind of savvy agency planner does. they always have an agenda - pushing a new product or behaviour on the platform , etc - and rarely encourage a more subtle or natural (and often less profitable) approach which might work better for the brand.

agree with the rest of your points.

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