Data, data everywhere. The modern marketer has copious data sources at her fingertips to plan, buy and assess online advertising. Amid the conversion of Mad Men in to Maths Men, it feels like “data” is the only game in town.

But are we beginning to witness a counter-revolution, a return to the roots of Madison Avenue?

A couple of execs – from the publishing side, at least – gave a push back in a Beet.TV panel discussion.

  1. New York Times ad products R&D SVP Michael Zimbalist said the Gray Lady can now “create whole programmes that are entirely content-driven”, noting how this means an “exciting swing of the pendulum back to creative”. In that world, ads would “still informed by data, but essentially governed by creativity, which is that head-turning, ineffable way that we can deliver value”.
  2. Meanwhile, Viacom chief research officer and EVP Colleen Fahey Rush said she is frustrated the industry may be looking at the wrong metrics. We’re all talking about data. What is getting left out of the conversation almost entirely in the last few years, which is kind of infuriating because you can make a great show and, if there’s not such great commercials, then I don’t know what to say – you’ve got to make some good ads.”

They were questioned by true[X] COO David Levy.

This video was produced at Media Future Conversations 2015: Unblocked – Valuing Human Attention In A Content-Driven World, an event presented by true[X] in association with Beet.TV  Please find more event videos here.