Understandably, media owners imagine their particular TV channel, radio station, newspaper, magazine or group of properties is unique - and it consumes all their time and attention. They suspect those nasty media agencies sway advertisers' money towards the media owners that give the agency the best trading deals and bring them most profit, rather than to the media property that will best suit the client's brand or campaign.
It's why media owners have made strenuous efforts to get closer to clients. And it's why communications planning hot-shops such as Naked sprang up, claiming to offer truly neutral media planning because they don't sully their hands with media buying.
I'm sure there's some truth in this - human nature dictates it. But the counter argument is that the consolidated modern media environment requires effective agencies to have a very powerful buying operation behind it - whether at group level or in-agency.
This was all brought into focus when I interviewed Honda's media guru, Ian Armstrong, and OMD UK's managing director, Jonathan Allan, for Media Week TV. I asked them what advice they would offer media owners wanting to better represent their offer to clients and agencies. The answers were illuminating. Allan's advice was pithy but pertinent: "Listen, don't sell." And Armstrong advised them to realise that clients have a fixed investment to spend and that they're not going to allocate it all to one media owner: "Don't be precious and realise that there are different priorities and different objectives throughout a year."
It's good advice and there's much more where that came from in the full interview, which goes live at www.mediaweek.tv from today.
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This article was first published on Media Week