The revolution will not be television

Consumer companies of all types are assessing their big broadcast and print media buys to see if there are more effective ways to spend their marketing money.

What if big brands gave up on TV advertising?

Industry research suggests pharmaceutical companies spent more than $5.2 billion on TV advertising in 2015, with a quarter of that money going on just five drugs.

I’m only doing a short post this week, as I’ve been neck-deep in news editing, with PRWeek’s Frank Washkuch in Cleveland doing a sterling job at the Republican National Convention, and the distractions of our move to a new office starting Monday, but this brief piece builds on the ‘PR is set to trump advertising’ theme from the other week.

Noone’s suggesting advertising is dead and frankly the debate around who is set to win the marketing communications "war" is pointless and counterproductive. Clients neither know nor care – they just want agencies that can help them build their brands and sell more products with creative strategy and innovative execution.

Indeed, the Q2 2016 holding company results released over the past two weeks from Omnicom, Interpublic Group, and Publicis Groupe still show advertising is growing at a much higher clip than PR firms in these portfolios.

However, I do think we are on the cusp of a major transformation, within which clients are finally going to cross the Rubicon and decide the days of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on mainstream broadcast media are over.

They are fed up with their ads falling onto the stony ground of millennials fed up with push messages they don’t want to hear, catch-up on-demand TV viewing, ad blockers, and ad fraud.

They want to tell stories. They want to produce their own content. They want a deeper engagement with a more targeted group of consumers. And they want to be able to measure what’s working.

Two giants of the PR agency world have some interesting things to say on this topic in the second part of our video interview with Richard Edelman and Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky.

So watch this space and let’s prepare for a very different marketing communications scenario in the not too distant future.

Over and out – see you next week when PRWeek will be in its new digs.

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