Back in December last year, this study from Ernst & Young caught my attention. Not because it said something we don’t know but because of how they put it. The survey (who needed that anyway?) results show the difference in vision between advertisers, advertising agencies and media agencies. The advertising agencies as the clear believers in new media, the media agencies hesitating and the advertiser in the middle of that. So far so good, but when they go into the reasoning why media agencies are hesitating, you really wonder about the research:
“Media agencies feel somewhat uncomfortable with all of the fuss around the new media. They consider new media primarily as a ‘supplement’ to traditional media. However, they of course understand that their customers, the advertisers, will partially reorient available budgets to the new media, and the media agencies run the risk of missing out on this business. Consequently, the media agencies indicate the desire to develop the required knowledge in house in order also to be able to advise advertisers in this area. In the meantime they remain critical. They refer in particular to the lack of reliable measuring instruments that would allow an evaluation of the effect and scope of campaigns via the new media as well as their fine-tuning. In short, there is a lack of benchmarking. And the possibility to accurately measure results is precisely the argument with which the media agencies have always distinguished themselves with respect to the traditional media.”
Come on, who are you kidding here? We all know this is not a question of belief, ROI nor campaign evaluations. This is purely a P&L issue. Bottom line, commissions on traditional advertising like TV & print are at stake here and that’s the single reason why media agencies are so reluctant to switch away from traditional advertising. As a result, the advertisers aren’t getting the best value for money.