Leaders debate pros & cons of media owner-cum-agency business

by VJ Media Bureau | July 5, 2014

Session was moderated by Sam Balsara, Chairman & MD, Madison World, and addressed by Alok Jalan, Managing Director, Laqshya Media Group, Bhavana Mittal, Head of Media, Indian Sub-Continent, CBS Global Media, GSK, Armino Ribeiro, CEO, Madison OOH Media Group, and Raj Mohanty, Vice President, Kinetic Worldwide India

Day 1 of OAC 2014 concluded with a power-packed panel session on the ‘Emerging Trend: Media Owner-cum-agency – Pros & Cons’, moderated by Sam Balsara, Chairman & MD, Madison World, and addressed by Alok Jalan, Managing Director, Laqshya Media Group, Bhavana Mittal, Head of Media, Indian Sub-Continent, CBS Global Media, GSK, Armino Ribeiro, CEO, Madison OOH Media Group, and Raj Mohanty, Vice President, Kinetic Worldwide India.

Balasara set the tone for the session by asking the panel members to reflect on why only in the outdoor media industry, owners seem to be interested in entering the specialist agency business domain. He added that such trends are not seen in other media like print, TV and radio. To this, Jalan asserted that some outdoor media owners forayed into the agency business as the specialist agencies were not bringing strong capabilities to the table. He said that most agencies have not invested in right talent, and seem to come across as traders, and not adding any significant value to the client engagements.

Mittal, speaking from the advertising client standpoint, said that while she would not judge the current trend, as an advertiser in the OOH space, she would consider working with specialist agencies when it comes to innovations and perhaps also work directly with owner-cum-agencies for plain vanilla campaigns.

Ribeiro categorically stated that the media owners and specialist agencies have distinct roles to play and that any attempt by media owners to enter agency business is destined to fail. 

Mohanty emphasised that specialist agencies add a lot of value to the business are not just engaged in a price war.
The panel also discussed the need for talent acquisition in the industry and debated on the pros and cons of agencies attracting talent from media owning firms. The issue of lack of transparency in OOH business also came up for discussion.
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