If, in a few years’ time, there is a book called “Who Killed The Ad Agency?”, rival direct-buying platforms, the ad fraud scandal and decades-old pricing structures are likely to have significant chapters.
In recent months, many agency holding groups have reported revenue trending down and share prices have fallen, after challenges including the rise of brands buying direct from online platforms.
But Matt Seiler would chalk another reason up – greed.
“I think that holding companies in general and media agency groups have kind of gotten what they deserve,” says the president of Dentsu Aegis Networks brand solutions in this video interview with Beet.TV.
“If you consider what the model has been predicated upon, it is convincing clients to spend as much money as possible. And that’s kept television alive as a much more robust medium for advertising than it probably had any reason to be.
“Convincing clients to spend as much money as possible is good maybe for those that are reaping the commissions or keeping the numbers of people employed to spend all that money, but not so good for the client. If you’re an agency, you’re going, ‘Oh, this is a big problem. Oh, we’re screwed’.”
Of course, Seiler, an agency veteran who took his latest role earlier this year, doesn’t put Dentsu in the same bracket.
He says his group was “built the right way”, taking pains to tell clients where they should and should not be spending.
Now the role of agencies must evolve to become a trusted companion that advises against a spray-and-pray approach, he says.
“There’s a role for mass communications in terms of brand awareness and so on, but that’s not where you should be spending the preponderance of your dollars, probably,” he adds.
This video is part of a series titled The Road to the Digital Content NewFronts. It is a preview of topics to be explored at IAB’s NewFronts, which begin on April 30. This series is presented by Meredith Corporation. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.