Five things that may define adland in 2018

Getting rather fed up with the daft predictions of others so here are some of ours – did I mean to say that?

Anyway, here goes.

1/The big consultancies will continue to eat the advertising holding companies’ lunches if, for no other reason, that they’re so well versed in the bullshit of modern commercial life. Accenture now pitches itself as a “customer experience agency,” which actually means very little but sounds just the biscuit to clients unable to justify their pathetic predilection for ads to procurement and others.

2/Jeff Bezos’ Amazon will, indeed, become a rival to Facebook and Google for digital ad dollars. Unlike the evil duo it actually knows where buyers are – on its website. That’s it, not much more to say (although that won’t stop a tidal wave of so-called expert commentary).

3/One of the big holding companies will be bought or narrowly escape with its independent life. Buyer could be a management consultancy, other holding company or private equity. Most likely victim? Interpublic, partly because it’s easy in that it’s US-focussed and not as rambling as the others, or Publicis Groupe. Publicis tried to transform itself by buying Sapient but that doesn’t seem to have worked. Maybe a defensive deal with Capgemini is Arthur Sadoun’s best strategy.

4/Sir Martin Sorrell will arrange an elegant departure from WPP (this might not happen this year). Fings ain’t wot they used to be in adland and WPP, Sorrell’s creation, is now looking a bit past its sell by date with all those companies and (surprisingly) people.

5/Adland will continue to amaze with its penchant for inventing ridiculous titles and plonking them on hapless execs, even people who hitherto struck you as being passably intelligent. 2017’s clear winner was ‘chief transformation officer,’ which means – what exactly? Bar’s set high for 2018.

So there you go. Off to Paddy Power the lot of you.

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