Tom Denford and David Indo from ID Comms: why do we always see the same faces at pitches?

On this week’s #MediaSnack, Tom and David continue our countdown to the one year anniversary of the ANA’s Media Transparency Report by looking at key areas of significant change, this week they look at Media Talent.

One of the key findings of the ANA report was that too many clients didn’t have the media knowledge in-house to manage media properly. In essence, brands needed a Chief Media Officer.

Tom and David ask whether enough brands have heeded the ANA’s recommendations and installed senior media leadership. David explains that while there have been few headline CMOs appointed, we have seen media expertise – from the media side rather than the procurement side of the business – being used to bolster in-house knowledge.

Brands are looking for senior media leaders that have got the gravitas to get traction internally. David says that each advertiser will need a different set of skills and it will take time for brands to find the right person. What matters is that companies such as airbnb are making a public statement about their need for media expertise.

Tom announces the launch of a new LinkedIn Group called The Chief Media Officers – get in contact for an invitation to the group and the chance to meet your peers and join the discussion. The Group will be dedicated to advancing the definition and profile of media leadership.

Next, David reveals what he’s seeing in major media agency pitches and asks if agency talent is shining through or being lost. David says the talent is still there and some of the work has been hugely appreciated by the clients who are reviewing.

His key question is whether the agencies have the broad range of talent they need, too often it’s the same people attending the pitches. A truly great agency has depth of talent and he wonders if they are struggling to secure that given the range of opportunities in different businesses today. Tom reveals that ID Comms has even changed its processes to ensure that clients do see the people who are going to be working on the business.

Finally, Tom and David consider the talent process that are occurring within agencies and note the appointment of Lindsay Pattison, CEO of Maxus, as Chief Transformation Officer across GroupM. A sign they argue that agencies are looking to evolve their businesses and find a new type of leader.

Such moves will be critical as agencies seek to fend off the big consulting firms as they move more into the media buying space. When this happens, they expect that superstar talent will be lured across from the agency ecosystem, as consultancies look for executional expertise and senior client leaders, the areas where agencies are still strong.

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