Irwin Gotlieb, Chairman & CEO of MindShare, is in India. Gotlieb, recognized as one of the champions of stand alone media services organizations globally, spoke to exchange4media at length on the changing media dynamics, the trends he foresees and the need for media independents, media scenario in India vis-a-vis other countries.
He vehemently disagrees that large media houses like MindShare twist the arm of the media channels to get the lowest possible rates for their clients. According to him it is neither the buyers’ nor the seller’s market anymore, and hence no question of pressurizing the media channels. Says he, “Today, it has come to a draw because there are five – six companies that run majority of the media outlets. And there are five media specialists that control the majority of the clients. And we have learnt like adults that we need each other”.
On another often-talked about issue – whether advertising remuneration should be fee based or commission based, says Gotlieb, “Globally, we have seen a significant shift towards fee remuneration. I don’t necessarily have a point of view on that. Whether it is a fee based remuneration or commission based – if it is fair – it is fine by us. Only danger with fee is that scope of service is defined – and if the scope of defined service is insufficient, fee forces you to fib and that is not good.” He adds, “If a client forces you to shorten the service – you are better off telling the client to go to some other agency. However, knowledgeable clients just don’t choose to do that”.
And when it comes to presenting the case of media independents, Gotlieb does it with a lot of conviction. He pooh-poohs the claims of Media departments of full service agencies that they understand the brand much better than the media independents by virtue of being the part of full service agency. Says he, “I used to work at a brand agency – almost everyone at MindShare came from a brand agency. When we moved to media specialist agencies we didn’t have a brain transplant. We learnt our craft at an advertising agency, the reason that we exist as a separate entity is that we manage conflict in a different way then the agencies do. Because of the rate of fragmentation and the complexity of our markets, our skill-sets, practices and processes have evolved at a rapid rate and have acquired a greater degree of specialization. It does not mean that we left a part of our brain behind when we changed the name of our agency!”
To know more about Gotlieb's perspective on media issues, watch this space.