Magazine article Marketing

Media Analysis: A Closer Relationship

Magazine article Marketing

Media Analysis: A Closer Relationship

Article excerpt

Media owners and advertisers are cutting out agencies and working together.

A significant change is taking place within the relationships advertisers have with media owners - so says media veteran and former media auditor John Billett, chief executive of communications management firm Johnbillett.com.

There is a trend emerging, he believes, wherein advertisers are choosing to look directly at opportunities offered by media owners, rather than accept what is given to them by their media agencies, which he calls the 'same old media plan'.

'There is increasing frustration that agencies are not looking at all of the available opportunities,' claims Billett.

Fox's Biscuits is one brand that is sourcing media opportunities directly, although it is continuing to use its agencies to plan and execute campaigns. Jim Proctor-Blain, its senior brand manager, says of the trend: 'It's really useful to get media owners directly in front of us. The media landscape is changing, and we need to keep on top of it.'

However, Andy Zonfrillo, head of MindShare's trading arm, The Exchange, says media owners are trying to develop better relationships with advertisers, rather than the other way around. 'Revenue is hard to come by, and media owners want to let brands know what opportunities they have to offer.' They are understandably keen to cut out the agency middleman and deal directly with advertisers, because it means they won't have to pay agency commission and it's a way of getting incremental money in addition to their existing deals.

Many media owners now try to direct advertisers to their own B2B websites, where they promote some of the media opportunities, such as sponsorships, on offer. Similarly, the website Getmemedia.com also acts as an aggregator. Media owners can pay to use the site, which in turn communicates opportunities directly to advertisers. The site is free for brands to use.

If Billett is right, what does this mean for the long-established relationship that brands can have with their media agencies? After all, the agencies pride themselves on not only their expertise and knowledge of marketing platforms, but also their ability to get the best deals, using the breadth of their business as leverage in negotiations.

Pete Davis, managing director of Getmemedia, insists that his site intends to complement rather than replace agencies. …

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