Tom Denford and David Indo from ID Comms: GroupM conflates awards and transparency

On this week’s #MediaSnack we report on a little feisty exchange of words between the CEO of GroupM in the UK, Nick Theakstone, and Mark Finney, head of media at ISBA, the UK’s leading marketer trade association.

The row it seems has been simmering since March when ISBA’s head of consultancy practice Debbie Morrison launched an excellent media agency contract template with some comments to the FT that angered agencies by appearing to suggest that media agencies don’t have the best interests of their clients at heart anymore.

The fight back from agencies at the time was quite aggressive but many months have passed and the media transparency debate has gathered momentum, not least thanks to the ANA’s Media Transparency initiative.

Last week, however, Theakstone thought that the recent success of one of ‘his’ agencies MediaCom – the UK’s largest media buyer – at a media awards event entirely defended the agency community from the transparency concerns raised by ISBA.

Tom and David discuss how this argument doesn’t make sense as the two things are entirely separate – and we doubt whether Nick would have been making the same point had Zenith cleaned up.

Whatever his intentions, everyone is now talking about the sniping with ISBA rather than appreciating MediaCom’s excellent work. Mark Finney, ISBA’s head of media responded, reminding everyone that we need to revert to a more constructive dialogue – while also calling Nick’s words “baffling and disappointing.”

Next up, we review the excellent ID Comms CMO panel, which we hosted at LinkedIn’s lovely London HQ, featuring invitation-only networking and a panel discussion attended by 40 marketers from brands such as Unilever, Mars, Lego, Universal Pictures, Disney, British Gas and Royal Mail.

The panel discussion featured Martin Moll, Head of Marketing at Nissan Europe, Lindsay Pattison, Global CEO of media agency Maxus and Steve Hyde CEO of 360xec.

Finally, Tom and David discuss news that Adobe has acquired TubeMogul for $540m – a strong indication that the much-expected consolidation in the ad tech space is actually happening.

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