I was at a media conference where a number of TV execs lamented first that the Maurice Levy, chairman of the giant European ad agency, Publicis, said there wasn’t enough ad money to pay for TV-like ads on the internet. Also, that Google was up to something that threatened the ad industry in their new relationship with Simon Cowell of American Idol. Then, one of the execs showed off this new TV Networks’ website along with an ad for a national brand. I asked that if they realized that Google’s market cap was about 10x all of Madison Avenue’s simply because they had found out how to make themselves accessible to millions of small, non-national brand advertisers. So, in the spirit of responding to Maurice Levey, what would they be doing to address this issue.
“Nothing,” said the exec.
“So you’ll be coming to the next iBreakfast,” I said.
The point is that big media is really the handservant of big business. The guys with the pinkie rinks only know how to go after fat cats just like them. Same with the flashy media saleswomen. Google advertising is open to all comers, is mostly self service, requiring little sales support and therefore is worth much, much more. In order for these old media guys to prosper they are going to have to reinvent themselves at a completely different level.