Is Advertising Week a triumph of box office over usefulness?

I see that Advertising Week founder Matt Scheckner is threatening to take Advertising Week Europe, on in London this week, away from the UK because of Brexit. Can’t see that having Teresa May and her three Brexiteers quaking in their boots but there you go.

Why not go to Amsterdam, Paris or Berlin from time to time anyway?

But Scheckner does seem to have struck lucky in persuading the usually publicity-shy Google UK president Matt Brittin to make an appearance, no doubt to be berated about YouTube’s unwitting (we assume it’s unwitting) placing of ads next to nasty internet content. Most UK advertisers and agencies are pulling their ads from YouTube, in a somewhat stable door manner. If they didn’t know that this kind of content (with adjacent ads) has been floating around for years they’ve been living in a cave – or not watching YouTube anyway.

It’s about time Brittin fronted up (he may not, of course). Google MD Ronan Harris, who’s fairly new in the job I think, has been taking the flak to date and he must be running out of things to say – apart from must try harder.

I also see that England rugby coach Eddie Jones (below) is due to appear, hard on the heels of his grand slam and world record dreams being confounded in Dublin by the party-pooping Irish. Eddie’s never short of a few words but I bet he’s not looking forward to this.

But what do marketers expect to learn from sports coaches? Coaching England rugby is a rather different business from running a business. England lost to Ireland because they couldn’t win the ball and, on the rare occasions they did, kicked it back to the grateful Irish. Message for marketers: Um…

Back in 2013 Sir Martin Sorrell (no less) interviewed former England and now Sky cycling boss Sir Dave Brailsford on the secrets of his success. Well we now know (or many people suspect) that some cycling triumphs weren’t quite as squeaky clean as Sorrell and others thought, what with a mysterious package of Sky paracetamols, or whatever they were, being ferried across Europe to that other knight of the road Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Suppose it shows the difference between something being box office (but potentially embarrassing) and useful.

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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.
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