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Another year, another Ad Week Europe. You know the drill by now, the best and brightest minds from the ad industry descend on London for four days of discussions, drinking and celeb spotting.

Storytelling

During a panel including Zenith UK and Starcom, it was noted that ad planning is currently suffering a drought of storytellers due to an emphasis on hiring tech and data-focused talent.

Natalie Cummins, managing director at Zenith UK pointed out employees need to be more up to speed on brand thinking – with knowledge on brand metrics not being enough. Similarly, Elliott Millard of Starcom, reminisced about “old school planning”.

In a data driven world it’s perhaps understandable that this has affected the thinking-processes of many.

Diversity

Many brands and marketers talk a good game but the face of advertising is still a white man, as revealed by MEC UK.

The agency created the average face of ad land by merging photos of delegates that attended Advertising Week Europe on the first day.

Its clear the industry has a way to go before it hits Campaign and the IPA’s 2020 targets of 15% of people in leadership positions from a non-white background and 25% per cent of new joiners from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds.

Transparency

Following The Times’ investigation around ad-fraud, Google has bore the brunt of a lot of the backlash. This became even more apparent at Ad Week.

During a session, Google’s EMEA president, Matt Brittin, apologised to brands affected by the scandal – however understandably this is too late for the likes of Havas who has pulled ads from Google and YouTube. It became clear throughout the week that Google will have to work hard to regain the industry’s trust

Moving forward, Brittin accepted that Google needs to be stricter at enforcing the rules and to act faster on inappropriate content that is flagged.

For the whole industry the issue highlights a need for increasing transparency.

And that was AWE in a nutshell – see you next year!

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