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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Earthquake or Blip on the Screen?

This past week, two of the world’s largest advertisers, made announcements regarding their digital efforts:

1) Procter & Gamble, arguably the world’s largest advertiser, disclosed that going forward 70-75% of their U.S. digital activity will be done programatically and in-house.

 2) Separately, fast food giant, McDonald’s announced that it is opening a digital office on Market Street in San Francisco so that they will be better able to recruit digital talent. Their digital chief described the move as “a way for us to be more plugged in to the flow of ideas.”

To me, this is heady stuff. Of the agency people whom I canvassed, many seemed to be  yawning. Yet, what is happening? It seems clear that both huge players in the ad world are bypassing their agencies and going direct to the source to optimize activity in the burgeoning digital space.

One agency chief dismissed that echoing his long held sentiment that his small team at a mid-sized shop “was cutting edge and on top of all changes in the digital world. My folks also have a great relationship with Google.” I gently responded that they may have a great relationship with the Google SALES TEAM. The McDonald’s initiative sounds as if they will raid, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Oracle and fellow travelers and get people who know where the bodies are buried in key companies and have a handle on what they may be coming up in the near future. Also, they can push the envelope better than any agency team can of what might be done that has never been tried before. These companies will also  have an edge over competitors in our new era of Big Data.

Am I overreacting? What do you think?

If you would like to contact Don Cole directly, you may reach him at doncolemedia@gmail.com

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