Every Friday, The Big Smoke looks at industry news curated by MediaScope. This week we look at media titans changing to fit AI, a rethink of media agencies, and a push for age diversity.
Google, Facebook and Twitter have already formed central AI teams designed to spread artificial intelligence throughout their companies.
The trouble for all of these companies is that finding the talent needed to drive all this AI work can be difficult. Everyday coders won’t do. Deep neural networking is a very different way of building computer services. Rather than coding software to behave a certain way, engineers coax results from vast amounts of data – more like a coach than a player.
With artificial intelligence all the buzz in the tech industry right now, it can make it feel like a passing fad. But inside Google and Microsoft and Amazon, it’s certainly not. And these companies are intent on pushing it across the rest of the tech world too.
A new generation of media agency leaders will have to fight to retain status as the business takes on adtech, consultancy and a more aggressive client base.
This has been a phenomenal year for media. A host of transparency issues from the ANA rebate reporting to Dentsu’s troubles in Japan have dominated the headlines but there are fundamental changes taking place that will be with us for years.
There is a new attitude brewing among advertisers. Brands that have neglected their media investment and not provided sufficient oversight and governance have been woken up.
Rather than simply call a pitch to see if there’s a better deal around, they are taking their time to properly consider their future requirements for media at a strategic level. For many this is a first.
Also on The Big Smoke
- The week in Media: 25th November 2016
- The week in Media: 11th November 2016
- The week in Media: 4th November 2016
Scott Moorhead, a former head of digital trading, has sparked a debate after writing in Campaign last week that the media agency model is “broken”.
His claims about agencies making “undisclosed income” through non-transparent practices and auditors failing to challenge the status quo were less significant than the fact that this was a relatively senior figure – who had only quit the media agency world in October – speaking out. Few would risk going public as Moorhead did.
Campaign has asked industry figures for their reaction. Some strongly disagreed, either privately or on the record, with his analysis that the model is broken. But there was a near-unanimous view that things need to change.
If youth is wasted on the young, then age and experience are in danger of being wasted on the advertising industry. Diversity may top the marketing agenda but age is the final taboo at a time when, all too often, youth is mistaken for a shortcut to digital expertise.
In order to shine a light on this often neglected issue, an industry-wide survey was conducted to uncover the experiences and issues surrounding ageism in marketing and advertising. “Diversity is important in all of its forms and age is one of those areas that needs to be addressed and needs more attention.”