While the world is fretting about the power of WPP’s mighty GroupM media buying machine (and its knock-on effect on independent production companies, who need to get GroupM onside to make their films in some instances) maybe agencies should start worrying about its incursions into creative advertising.
There’ve been a few of these so far although they come via the constituent media agencies of GroupM, in this case MediaCom division MBA for Conair’s Babyliss Curl Secret hair teaser. First up is some product placement in The Saturdays’ new single Disco Love (“so sweet it will make your teeth rot” according to one curmudgeon) as the gals escape from some mild trouble with the help of what look suspiciously like toy boys.
This doesn’t buy you an awful lot of national TV, even with GroupM’s fearsome negotiating power. So it will be interesting to see what MediaCom MBA comes up with. It probably won’t include hiring a WPP creative agency though.
Media agencies have always helped out their less pecunious clients by roping in a couple of roving freelances to ‘provide the creative’ when required; an unstated acknowledgement that they regard most agency account people and planners as a waste of the money that could be spent on more media (and commission, of course).
So no difference there then. But the entrance of genuine biggies like GroupM/MediaCom into the market may signify something far more far-reaching.