Muldoon and Greitzer challenge big media agencies, X Factor moves media to top of UK agenda

We’ve noted here a few times how big advertisers, like Kraft, are looking at smaller creative agencies to pep up their marketing after being seemingly bound in to the big marcoms company-owned agency networks.

Now media may be undergoing the same kind of process as various people look at replicating and improving the group targeting and negotiating offer, often via so-called trading desks, that seemed the prerogative of the likes of GroupM at WPP, Cadreon at Interpublic and Vivaki at Publicis.

Two such people are former Razorfish execs Art Muldoon and Matt Greitzer who have set up a trading desk company Accordant in Switzerland. But Accordant will work for anyone, other media outfits and clients direct, big or small. Razorfish, formerly owned by Microsoft, was bought by Publicis in 2009.

Separately traditional media has moved much higher up the agenda of big UK companies as the phenomenal success of ITV’s Simon Cowell-produced X Factor delivers the kind of audiences that commercial TV in the UK hasn’t seen since the 1980s.

30-second spots for this year’s final of the competition, to be held on December 11 and 12, are going for figures north of £200,000, prompting some media buyers to compare it with the US Super Bowl.

It’s now de rigeur to launch a new campaign or new product or service on the X Factor, if you can afford the dosh of course. And with this kind of money at stake it’s not just a decision for the marketing department.

Once CEOs start competing with each other to get on there then prices really go through the roof. Some show-offs will undoubtedly pay £300,000 for the first spot in each of the weekend shows.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.