NATPE 2011: WPP'S Sorrell Calls for Self-Regulation in Addressable Advertising
(Predictably) wants government to stay out regarding privacy concerns as technologies improve
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/24/2011 5:58:28 PMClick here for complete NAPTE 2011 coverage
WPP Group Chief Executive Martin Sorrell on Monday claimed that as addressable advertising becomes more prevalent, it needs to remain up to the companies that implement the technologies to regulate themselves in terms of privacy issues.
"It has to be self-regulation, we musn't get into more regulation," he said during a keynote session at the NATPE conference in Miami.
And Sorrell lauded the importance of the emerging addressable advertising platforms, noting that his organization has "become a VC company" in terms of investing in companies in the space.
"It gives us the ability to understand [media consumption] in a far, far more effective way," he said of the technology.
In an hour-long session at the media confab, Sorrell also called smart phone mobility the most disruptive development currently, and said that technology companies "are not really technology companies," noting they are basically media companies now.
Among other topics, Sorrell said the US is "going to have to grapple with its deficit, maybe not before the next general election - that will put some pressure on their economy." However he noted that to "write off" the U.S. economy would be a mistake.
I agree with Martin Sorrell and think he makes a good point when he says the line between media and technology is now so blurred as to be practically redundant. You cannot talk about media or advertising without talking about technology. Yet the advertising industry – which exists to create and innovate – is so slow to respond: it is technology businesses that have created all the innovation in media in recent times. Why is this? Advertising agencies often seem scared of technology. They are slow to adapt their culture, thinking and recruitment policies to embrace technologists. Where you do find technologists, they are ghetto-ised in the IT and production teams or some kid on a skateboard who knows a bit of Flash.
Paradoxically, embracing technology is all agencies are talking about – they want to be part of it; they want to lead it and advise their clients on it – and they have ideas, but they just don’t know how to start.
As a Creative Technology business we help our clients, including many ad agencies, use technology to change their businesses in ways they could not have imagined: new means of engaging customers, eliminating grinding business practices, unleashing massive value through data mash-ups, enabling brand creative messages to be targeted and delivered and optimised precisely and accurately in seconds across all old & new media types – this is real creativity.
It is time for the creative thinkers in the advertising industry to step up. You can’t be creative without technology. You can’t know every technology and you don’t need to – you need to work with technology partners that get the value that brands and advertising creates and who can help you realise your ideas and really change your clients’ businesses.
Matt McNeany - 1/26/2011 10:50:06 AM EST
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