Every Friday, The Big Smoke looks at industry news curated by MediaScope. This week, we look at the healthiest brand in the world, the ad world at war with itself, and why all advertising philosophies are dead wrong.



Google Beats Apple & Facebook for Top Global Brand Health List (MarketingWeek) 

Google has taken the top spot in YouGov’s first global brand health rankings, followed closely behind by YouTube and Facebook, as tech brands dominate globally. The list is based on data from YouGov’s BrandIndex Index metric, which assesses overall brand health. This is determined by looking at perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, satisfaction, reputation and whether consumers would recommend the brand to others. Other tech brands that feature in the top 10 include Samsung, Whatsapp and Apple, with Toyota, Adidas and Colgate the only non-tech brands to make it into the ranking.


How AI Will Transform all Jobs in Media Not Just the Ones You Expect (Digiday)

Artificial intelligence has been part of the zeitgeist for decades.  But now that the technology is moving into the media and marketing mainstream, industry professionals may wonder if they’re about to be phased out by an army of machines. Activities that we used to spend a lot of resources and time on are increasingly being supported by AI. Customer support functions are being aided by chatbots. Manual tagging of media assets is being replaced by automated systems that can recognise and describe a picture. In the end, marketers need to ask themselves two questions: what consumes a lot of time and money and how can AI help reduce the cost?


The Ad Industry At War With Itself  (MediaVillage)

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the publication of ANA’s “media transparency” recommendations, which followed a major investigation of media agency practices.  Lest we forget how central media transparency is to ANA, Bob Liodice (President and CEO of ANA) and Doug Wood (outside legal counsel) published a MediaVillage article this week reminding us that “if the allegations against the agencies are true, the behaviour is reminiscent of past high-profile financial scandals.”  There you have it!  Lehman Brothers, Tyco, Enron, Worldcom, step aside!  Media agencies and their owners belong in the same lineup as Bernie Madoff, Dick Fuld, Dennis Kozlowski, Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling and Bernie Ebbers! There’s big money at stake, according to the authors.  “An advertiser with a $100 million annual spend may have claims from $30 million to $120 million … the amounts remain staggering for any major advertiser.  Even assuming an advertiser elects not to pursue a claim, the advertiser should ensure that the continued diversion of assets stops.”


Why All Advertising Philosophies Are Wrong (TheAdContrarian)

One of the core principles of the agency business is to develop a philosophy about the advertising process that differentiates you from your competitors. Then you give it a name — you “brand” it — and you speak to your clients and prospects in the language of this brand credo. There’s nothing evil about this. I did it when I ran an agency, and almost every agency does it. The only problem is that it is inevitably wrong. The reason it is wrong is that advertising success is about likelihoods and probabilities, not certainties. But there is no agency in the world that is brave enough to say out loud that their philosophy is contingent and uncertain. For brand marketers, there are no straight lines in advertising. You cannot assume that if you do thisthat will happen. The best you can do is infer likelihoods.

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