Ad Land Needs To Stop Playing Social Warrior Or It Will Be F@cked!

Ad Land Needs To Stop Playing Social Warrior Or It Will Be F@cked!
SHARE
THIS



In his new column, industry sage and agitator Robert Strohfeldt, takes a look at agency lands’s newest threat – consultancy firms moving in on its turf. And, he argues, many agencies are too busy playing social warrior to see the pending threat that’s about to bite them all in the backside…

This week there have been two articles in this publication on a major threat the industry has been facing for many years.

The first one was the rise of consultancy groups moving in on ad land’s turf. B&T published it here. While a second appeared on a rival title and involved Accenture offering technology for these consultancies to bring media buying in-house.

I have been watching the big advisory (once chartered accountants) and management consulting firms slowly, but steadily, move in on our business since the early 90s. (A couple of smaller local chartered accounting groups were looking at this as far back as 1983). They are business advisors and adding our traditional suite of services allows them to offer the whole package.

The threat was covered in detail in a four- part series of articles done last year on Existential Threats to Advertising Agencies.

We have simply accepted the garbage the Google/Facebook duopoly produces internally on their performance and made merry with the increased revenue online media has brought to what was once a very low margin business. Bloody hell, if you keep your hand in the till long enough you will get caught. But no one seemed to think of the longer- term consequences, not only for themselves, but the massive reputational damage it would do to the industry as a whole.

We are meant to be trusted advisors, not sales people and by accepting the online duopoly’s garbage, we have opened a gap big enough to drive a truck through for the advisory and consulting firms.

We bang on to clients about trust and how it is a cornerstone of a brand’s image, yet we have lost trust from the business community at large. And trust is something the advisory and consulting firms have over us. Their entrée to clients is through CEOs and boards on major issues of audit, tax, compliance and strategy. They have (and always have had)) access to the most sensitive and useful of client information. They are perceived as serious and trusted advisors, not salespeople and whacky creatives. Yet, when it comes to ideas and entrepreneurship, we leave this guys for dead. But we do not seem to be promoting our strengths – the old WIIFM. We forget the basics of our core business when promoting the benefits of our industry to clients. The smartest, most lateral thinkers I have had the pleasure of knowing and/or working with have been from within the advertising business.

But while all of this has been happening, many in our industry have been too busy playing social warrior to notice.

A great example hit me yesterday with a copy of the latest (bugger it, will name them as they have form) Ad News. 

Whilst we are bleeding trust and clients, they have a major feature on diversity – The cover is dominated by the headline “Cultural Whitewash.” The article starts off with: “Multi-culturalism has been in the spotlight politically with the Alt Right becoming more vocal in Brexit, Trump and One Nation” (That One Nation had their arse kicked in the recent WA state election was not mentioned. Nor the reasons behind the relatively sudden rise of a large group of disenfranchised people. But hey, these people are white, so they don’t matter).

No mention of the Totalitarian Left. The fanatics who want to shut down free speech and crucified Bill Leak for a cartoon that highlighted the biggest problems facing Indigenous communities – parental neglect (particularly by fathers), alcohol abuse and the resulting domestic violence. What they also missed was the question of what will happen to the poor youth depicted in the middle of the cartoon? (Domestic violence and substance abuse is cyclical. Nearly all perpetuators grew up in households where this was the norm.) Instead of seeing it as a piece of insightful social commentary, they called him a racist c….t. (These people mostly grew up in privileged households and have never ventured out to these remote communities.)

No mention of the disgraceful actions of the Human Rights Commission and Professor Triggs, who lied, without a care, to a parliamentary enquiry. But this seems to be ok as the head of the ACTU has come out and said it is ok to break unjust laws. Really? And who decides whether a law is “unjust”? That is a matter for the courts, not a screaming mob.

Let’s get back to their claim on diversity:

They claim advertising has a long way to go to address cultural diversity with two-thirds of the population (66.67 per cent), speaking a language other than English at home.

Really? They must have been to the Facebook school of statistics.

According to the Census of 2011, the proportion of households that only spoke English at home was 76.8 per cent. The 2005 Census had this figure at 79 per cent. A change of 2.2 per cent over five years. A further five years on and Ad News has this figure at only 33.33 per cent. (What happened to all those English only speakers over the past five years?)

Break down the figures of the non-English speaking households in 2011 and some of the “major non-English languages” were:

  • Mandarin 1.6 per cent
  • Italian 1.4 per cent
  • Arabic 1.3 per cent
  • Cantonese 1.2per cent
  • Greek 1.2 per cent

This is not to say the NESB (Non- English speaking background) market is not important, but the cultural differences within this broad classification are huge. To focus on these small sub-segments of the population at the expense of the majority is a fool’s game.

The goal should be to focus on what we have in common, not what divides us. (The major reason for the rise of the Alt Right. Physics applies to all of nature. Newton’s Third Law – for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The nutters of the left and right are different sides of the same coin).

One statistic the chattering classes ignore is that 30 per cent of SMEs (Chifley Research Centre 2014) are owned by migrants. Instead of wringing hands and complaining about how heartless and unrepresentative Australian society is, go back through the history of successful businesses and first and second generation migrants make up a hugely disproportionate percentage of the owners and CEOs – they also come here for the abundant opportunities available. It has been this way for generations. I have not yet met a successful client who comes from a migrant background (hang on, that is most of us) who questioned the ethnicity of the team working on their business. They only insist on two things – expertise and integrity. (Two areas the industry has gone backwards in.)

Toyota is a great example of balance. They have always recognised and targeted NESB communities and women in their advertising. The number one selling vehicle in Australia now is the Toyota HiLux. It didn’t attain this position by being the vehicle of choice for ISIS. (Though their choice of HiLux for carrying .50 calibre machine guns, able to withstand the recoil of firing 800 rounds a minute, does add to the reputation for toughness). It is a vehicle with broad appeal, though its legendary reputation for being “unbreakable” and genesis as a tradie vehicle positions it appealing more to the “Aussie Bloke” (who can be of any colour or ethnic background), than a specialist vehicle for carrying halal meat.

Having run well over 1000 focus groups in the past 30 years, I have talked to the full spectrum of Australian society. And that is what the overwhelming majority of migrants come here for – to be Australian. No, they do not forget their cultural heritage, but some of the most patriotic Australians I have met moved here from other countries because they wanted to be part of Australian culture. (The egalitarian nature of our society and freedom of speech were major drawcards). We are one of the oldest democracies and most culturally diverse societies in the world. It is not a recent phenomenon, as the Twitterarti would have us believe.

This is turning into a diatribe on politics and sociology, which was not the original objective.

According to Ad News, the industry is facing a crisis due to lack of diversity. Bullshit. Identity politics will do far more damage. Select talent without fear or favour, it doesn’t matter whether the person is male, female, black white, Catholic, Muslim or Callithumpian. Let talent rise to the top without discrimination (positive or negative).

We should concentrate on the many real threats facing our industry, instead of trying to be social warriors.

“Being good is good for business”. A fact the greats of commerce have known for generations. Instead of grandstanding on fashionable social issues, look for initiatives to help your clients follow this adage and do something of genuine help for the communities they operate in.

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Kirsty Bloore
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kirsty Bloore

Bereft of any Monday motivation? Let today's Women in Media profile be like low-current electric waves to the brain.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Arq Group Activates New Branding By Hulsbosch  
  • Media

Arq Group Activates New Branding By Hulsbosch  

Arq Group has launched a new identity created by award-winning agency Hulsbosch, with the business rebranding from Melbourne IT to Arq. Previously known as Melbourne IT, the company was founded in 1996 as one of Melbourne University’s commercial ventures with the sole rights to manage .au domains in the early days of the Internet. Melbourne IT […]

Adshel Unveils ANZ Takeover Via PHD
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Adshel Unveils ANZ Takeover Via PHD

ANZ, in partnership with PHD and Adshel, have taken to the streets with a total take-over of the entire Adshel Live network. For one hour, between 8am and 9am on Tuesday 19 June, ANZ is inviting commuters to download the new ANZ app by showing six different ways the app can help them manage their […]

Nine Launches Big Ideas Pop-Up Store
  • Media

Nine Launches Big Ideas Pop-Up Store

Nine has today launched a new pop-up store, The Big Ideas Store by 9Powered, which will host a series of events, workshops, research studies and guest speakers that demonstrate how Nine’s integrated business works to formulate better solutions to the challenges facing marketers. Over the next two weeks, The Big Ideas Store will highlight how […]

Gillian Armstrong: Adland’s Become “Brainwashed Into Thinking All Directors Have Beards”
  • Advertising

Gillian Armstrong: Adland’s Become “Brainwashed Into Thinking All Directors Have Beards”

Acclaimed Australian director Gillian Armstrong has launched a stinging attack on agency “boys’ club” that, she believes, continue to overlook female directors for TV campaigns. Armstrong, 67, cited stats that show half of all graduate directors leaving Aussie colleges are now female, they’re regularly cleaning-up in short film competitions, however, it’s not translating to directing work within the industry. Only about […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Carat & Initiative Share The Spoils In WA Government’s $65 Million Media Business
  • Media

Carat & Initiative Share The Spoils In WA Government’s $65 Million Media Business

IPG’s Initiative and Dentsu’s Carat have both been awarded a slice of the West Australian government’s $65 million spend. The government account is broken into two entities – campaign and non-campaign – each with its own agency roster. Carat has retained its long-standing position on the agency panel for all campaign work, which accounts for […]

A Golden Opportunity! Lucky Numbers For Sale!
  • Marketing
  • Partner Content

A Golden Opportunity! Lucky Numbers For Sale!

In case you missed it last week, a very lucky phone number – 1800 80 80 80 – is up for sale. And it could be yours!

Partner Content

by Customer Connect

The AppNexus Marketplace Launches Guaranteed Views
  • Technology

The AppNexus Marketplace Launches Guaranteed Views

AppNexus, the world’s leading independent advertising technology company, today announced the launch of Guaranteed Views, a marketplace product that changes the way advertising is bought and sold on the open internet. Guaranteed Views enables marketers and agencies to pay only for ads that are measured as viewable and is the first programmatic product that enables 100% viewable buying at scale outside of Facebook and Google.

Dentsu Aegis Network Predicts Australian Ad Spend Growth Of 2.8%
  • Marketing

Dentsu Aegis Network Predicts Australian Ad Spend Growth Of 2.8%

• Ad spend in Australia forecast to grow by 2.8% in 2018 , with main drivers of growth in Government, Retail, Finance and Gambling sectors. • Global advertising spend to grow by 3.9%, revised up from 3.6% in January 2018. • Digital to overtake TV for the first time, to reach 38.4% of global share (TV 35.5%). In 21 out of the 59 markets tracked, digital will be the leading advertising channel in 2018. • One quarter (25.2%) of global ad spend will be delivered through mobile devices for the first time.

Pac Mags Appoints New Client Strategy Director For Victoria
  • Media

Pac Mags Appoints New Client Strategy Director For Victoria

Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines has announced the appointment of Emma Baston as client strategy director for Victoria. Baston has worked in senior digital media buying and planning roles at various agencies including UM Australia, Cummins&Partners and MindShare, with exposure across the strategy, communications and creative process. She has also worked at Facebook in a […]

Seamless pattern of a crowd of many different people profile heads. Vector background.
  • Media

SBS Launches Diverse Communities Content Initiative

SBS has launched the Short-Form Content Initiative, a commitment to providing increased opportunities for Australian creatives from diverse communities through the commissioning and production of content for SBS On Demand. SBS has partnered with five of Australia’s screen agencies, including Film Victoria, Create NSW, Screen Queensland, Screenwest and South Australian Film Corporation. The initiative aims […]

BIG W Unveils Toy Mania Via M&C Saatchi
  • Campaigns

BIG W Unveils Toy Mania Via M&C Saatchi

BIG W, the home for families, fun and entertainment, has today launched its annual toy sale campaign – Toy Mania. Running until 11 July, the campaign showcases the frenzy and hysteria that comes with the BIG W toy sale. It also highlights that buying toys can be just as fun as playing with them and […]

Datorama Launches AI-Supported Data Visualisation Tool ‘Data Canvas’
  • Technology

Datorama Launches AI-Supported Data Visualisation Tool ‘Data Canvas’

Datorama, a global technology company, today announced the launch of Data Canvas, a suite of new data visualisation capabilities within its Marketing Intelligence platform. Datorama Data Canvas leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in a brand new way — to help marketers create expert-designed dashboards to tell compelling, data-driven stories. Datorama’s previous AI releases have […]

Who’s Looking The Goods At Cannes Lions 2018
  • Opinion

Who’s Looking The Goods At Cannes Lions 2018

In this opinion, Fjord lead Bronwyn van der Merwe (pictured below) discusses the work to look out for at Cannes Lions 2018. I fully expect there will be some staggering examples of creative brilliance at Cannes Lions this year, and I’d recommend anyone going resists having their attention pulled by projects that are largely based on […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
We Are Social Acquires Socialize
  • Media

We Are Social Acquires Socialize

We Are Social has acquired Socialize; however, it will not be renamed We Are Socialize or even Margaret for that matter.

Global Marketing Player adm Appoints Country Manager For Australia & NZ
  • Marketing

Global Marketing Player adm Appoints Country Manager For Australia & NZ

International marketing services business adm Group Ltd has appointed Matt Cave as its country lead for Australia and New Zealand. Cave (pictured above) has more than 25 years of industry experience in the Asia-Pacific region, and will be instrumental in driving adm’s expansion throughout Australia and New Zealand. With 26 offices in 19 countries around […]

Weploy CMO Ben Eatwell: “We Want To Help Businesses Challenge The Status Quo”
  • Media
  • Technology

Weploy CMO Ben Eatwell: “We Want To Help Businesses Challenge The Status Quo”

Weploy began with a shared realisation between two friends that recruiting quality staff had become too complicated and it was high-time so declutter the process. Based in Melbourne, the start-up combines Tinder-style online skills-matching with Australian job market, and in doing so, rids eager employers of the strenuous – and at times incredibly uncomfortable – […]

Nielsen Acquires Sydney-Based Media Analysis Business Landsberry & James
  • Marketing

Nielsen Acquires Sydney-Based Media Analysis Business Landsberry & James

Nielsen has announced it has acquired Landsberry & James (L&J), a leading media analysis and software company based in Sydney, Australia. L&J designs, develops and markets software across the entire media analytics, planning, buying and post analysis process for television, digital, radio, advertising expenditure and advertising creatives. Nielsen’s investment in L&J enables an unparalleled and powerful […]

Pac Mags’ Home Beautiful Partners With Harvey Norman To Launch ‘Cooks Co-Op’
  • Marketing
  • Media

Pac Mags’ Home Beautiful Partners With Harvey Norman To Launch ‘Cooks Co-Op’

Home Beautiful and Harvey Norman have partnered on a new content series which will transform a quintessential Aussie shed into a field-to-fork restaurant whilst showcasing culinary local heroes. In 2012, Martin Boetz (pictured above, right) – the chef behind the cult following of Longrain during his 13-year stint – escaped the bustle of the big smoke […]

Music Feeds & Purple Sneakers Join Forces
  • Media

Music Feeds & Purple Sneakers Join Forces

Music Feeds and Purple Sneakers have unveiled a new strategic partnership that will allow music industry and direct advertisers to extend campaign bookings across all Purple Sneakers digital platforms when booking with Music Feeds. Founded in 2005 by Martin Novosel as a club brand and events company, Purple Sneakers is a key player in the Australian […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Headway & App Annie Get Ready For FIFA 2018
  • Media
  • Technology

Headway & App Annie Get Ready For FIFA 2018

Headway, the leading data-driven media buying company, has teamed up with market data and insights company AppAnnie. Together, the companies have unveiled The App Marketer’s Guide to the World Cup – a whitepaper designed to help app marketers succeed. Every year, flagship sporting events are breaking the internet with increasing viewership and the 2018 FIFA World Cup […]

Twitter Makes In-Stream Video Ads Available To All
  • Advertising
  • Media

Twitter Makes In-Stream Video Ads Available To All

Social media giant Twitter has announced it’s making in-stream video ads available to all advertisers – including self-serve – across 12 markets, including Australia. The popular video format attaches pre-roll content in front of premium publisher videos and highlights. The 12 international markets where Twitter’s in-stream ads will be available are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, […]

Australian Alliance For Data Leadership Appoints New CEO
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Australian Alliance For Data Leadership Appoints New CEO

The Australian Alliance for Data Leadership (AADL) has announced the appointment of credentialled senior executive Stephen Porges as its new CEO. Porges currently sits on a number of company boards, has considerable public and private sector listed company management expertise, and has been instrumental in successful data-driven businesses. He also brings CEO skills gained at […]

Business , Nicola Lewis poses for a portrait in Surry Hills. Lewis is being appointed to run WPP's GroupM in Australia and New Zealand.  
Pic Jenny Evans
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Nicola Lewis

GroupM investment chief Nicola Lewis is grilled in latest Women in Media profile. It's more a gentle simmer, really.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine