Spending Shortfalls Leave Digital Strategies Dragging

Adweek senior writer Joan Voight spoke with Tom Bedecarré, CEO of AKQA in San Francisco.
Mostly the interview is about advertising in China, but here’s some of what Bedecarré, 51, says about the need for a digital champion on the client side who can marshall the funds needed to run a vigorous interactive program:

If you are a consumer product company and your digital budget is less than 15 percent of the total marketing budget, you are missing the boat. Compare your spending with how much time your customers are spending online via PCs, interactive kiosks, mobile phones and other devices. Smart marketers such as Nike decide from the top that digital is going to receive significant funding and tell their marketing managers to work out the spending allocations. On average, companies are spending half of what they should be spending. At smart marketers I find that there is a catalyst or evangelist with a digital point of view that keeps them ahead of the curve. For example, Unilever and Diageo bring digital best practices to all their marketing groups.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Exactly.
    And a result of that sort of smart thinking– or a reason for it– will be an advertising agency that doesn’t automatically come at you with “Here’s our big idea: a TV commercial, and this is how it plays out in digital.”