My press round up from last couple of months.

Rather than copy and paste individual sections of my commentary in the press, here are the links to the latest hot topics, starting most recently with the Google buying Inmobi news. Basic summary was a necessary if not perfect acquisition target.

Published in Business Insider – click here for article.

A couple of weeks back, Marketing published a post on programmatic TV and how things were developing by Charlotte McEleny. Overview was we needed to unlock the data if things were going to progress.

Published in Marketing Magazine, please click here for the article.

Campaign published my article in the magazine on the joining of creative and programmatic and how both creative industry and media industry need to up their game.

Published in Campaign – please click here for the article.

Digiday story on the evolving story of trading desks, where VivaKi are leading the way in transformation in this space. Written by Emily Siegel.

Published in Digiday, click here for the article.

Drum coverage of VivaKi announcing restructure where programmatic buying skills move into the agencies. Written by Jessica Davies

Published in The Drum, for the article click here.

Four years ago today…


I wrote my first blog. I had no idea what I was getting into and where it would lead. It appears that four years later I have written 196 posts, most of them home grown content, I could never have imagined that four years ago I would start writing an average of one a week for four years, but I have loved it. Anyone who blogs regularly knows that it is slightly addictive and becomes a vehicle for venting. The Ad tech space has been a perfect muse and there are so many baddies to talk about!

I think I am perhaps best known for venting although I try and keep it constructive. I have had at least three CEOs complain to my bosses, I have had my bosses complain to me a few times too with an exasperated Head of Comms Europe in Claire Ballard and Global Cheri Carpenter asking me politely to ‘let them know when I intend to publish something contraversial.’ I have had good supporters in Adexchanger, Digiday, Mediatel, Mediaweek, The Drum and others in republishing content. I have also had guest posts from Simon Birkenhead (now famous script writer for Hollywood), Paul SIlver, Danny Hopwood, our new recruits and others.

I have had people in 121 countries read my blogs, every continent and even places I did not know existed, amazing the power of digital and the web to be able to have that kind of reach. After four years, my top charting blog remains – ‘Trading Desks are in for the long haul, not just the sale’ if you want to read it click here. A time when the Ad tech space seemed so much simpler but there was a lot of tension created by the shift in balance of power between Ad Nets, agencies and new tech companies. It was an exciting time.

Anyway, thanks for the readers and support and comments and sharing etc it has been a lot of fun and I hope to continue for many more years.

Media, white or grey?


This is the point at which I confess that I once increased an IO on the back of some fancy lunch..sorry not going to do that because I know I have not, but in fact that is too simple an example. There is no black and white, just grey.

The recent Digiday post about a planner in the US writing to multiple publishers asking for them to buy food and drinks for a leaving do, click here for that, sparked some conversation on this topic which came from both sides of the fence. The long and short of it was that the request was outrageous and what a cheek this guy had. In this instance they were right in my mind to be offended, what went wrong with this particular request was it lacked respect, lacked a reason and was delivered to  a group ie anyone will do.

That said, where did this all start? Did it start with the agency asking for free things or was it always the approach of the sales person, lets not just focus on media, this happens in every industry to some extent or another. In every industry the opportunity to build relations has started with hospitality. Now what this story does not tell you is how many of the recipients had previously showered this team with gifts and so lead them to believe this was all possible. And if they did? And if they helped their business, can they now have issue with the request being thrown back at them. Grey throughout.

Generally speaking hospitality is a legitimate way of doing business because we are a people business and the more time we spend together the more we understand each other and then more likely the business gets their message across. People buy people at the end of the day. BUT and a big but, it should not lead to obligation and where friendship becomes darker and things are twisted to personal financial gain. The level of that hospitality also needs examination – I believe the person who offers should always be present ie don’t just get me tickets but take me. I also believe that situations where couples and families are being hosted on ski trips etc pushes the boundary.

I saw an email once, intercepted by an agency person (who was on the exchange accidentally and not involved) between a re-targeting company and a direct client that basically said ‘thanks for the contact introduction, your camera is in the post’ That kind of thing should not be allowed to go on, or a now defunct agency whose Head of media gave the search business for an account to his friend’s independent search agency and by all accounts was paid well for it. This is the dark side of the business and hopefully a smaller and smaller part of it.

The final side of this is when a publisher or tech company is asked to sponsor an event which can come in many ways but its is a clear value exchange and they are ‘paying’ to be part of that event, again that could be food, drink, prizes etc etc but the relationship is clear.

This episode in particular was unfortunate and ill thought through and that person needs to be clear on what is acceptable and what is not but to publishers and media companies this is a cost of business and with all business there are people who do it well or badly. Written entirely differently the media owner could legitimately decide that it was a good opportunity to be in front of 90 media buyers and that is a business decision for them.

Big Sales orgs are spending $30million+ a year on marketing and so they have accounted for the 90 bacon butties, what they had not accounted for was the way the guy asked for them.

Anyone meet me in Pret and grab me a cheese and ham sub?

Confessions of a ….@Digiday leave the National enquirer to do the gutter press

I read today’s confession of an Ad Tec Executive and it leaves me a little uncomfortable with this whole series. It is not the information that it hands over, I am sure some is correct, and I am sure some of the practices are true but there is a big but..who are these people?

Are they reputable, have they been offended by some one or something, were they any good? Let’s face it there are plenty of people who talk about things that you would not listen to and take seriously. I think it is a little gutter press and I think that is a shame, this is a trade site not a gossip site, not sure we need to have this kind of reporting. 

Every post I see from ‘anon’ is one to ignore in my opinion and so these whole pieces lack credibility. Brian covers some good stuff and agree with much of his approach but this stuff leaves me cold. I keep getting told I am too opinionated and get into trouble but I would rather that than these anon posts from people with axes to grind.