Are We A Danger To Ourselves?

The Wall Street Journal interviewed McCann head man Nick Brien in advance of Advertising Week. I like what he says about being open to change.

WSJ: What’s the biggest threat to the advertising marketing business today?
Mr. Brien: Ourselves. If we don’t continue to innovate our business models and become much more obsessed about training, developing and attracting talent, we will have an industry that is not equipped.
Our biggest competition is media companies like Meredith Corp., who are sharpening their marketing skills. Meredith beat us for some of the Chrysler business. [Meredith does direct marketing and social media tasks for Chrysler.] If you don’t recognize who your competition is, you will underestimate them.

It’ll be interesting to see just how far agencies are willing to go to remake themselves. To me, the obvious lesson from Meredith is that media and marketing are two sides of one coin, so if you’re in one, you’re also in the other.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.