I see that Dentsu International, currently being reorganised and simplified (we’re told) by new boss Wendy Clark has appointed a global chief product officer of media, one Doug Ray (below, who started as an ad agency planner.) Doug is responsible for the “vision and delivery of the media product roadmap” – whatever that means.
Agencies of all hues (but especially media agencies) come up with daft titles on a bewilderingly regular basis but what’s the point? Is it to try to persuade clients that they’re administering something so cleverly complex that new roles are constantly required to, er, make sense of it all? The old practice of confuse-a-client perhaps.
Dentsu International’s biggest strand remains Carat, once memorably described as “gorillas with calculators.” As such the primates did a pretty good job.
Media independents, of which Carat used to be one, were devised by a bunch of bolshie agency media directors who became cheesed off as they were permanently seated below the salt by their creative agency masters. So they blew a bloody great hole in the agency commission system and went their own way. As did agency margins.
One wonders what the likes of late lamented media agency pioneer Paul Green would have made of a global chief product officer of media? Snorted derisively into his Brouilly I’d wager.
Media agencies are fighting an ongoing battle not to be replaced by AI (machines.) There’s a touch of desperation about some of it.