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Punitha Arumugam on the 7 deadly sins of media

20-July-2009
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Punitha Arumugam on the 7 deadly sins of media

The Media Review 2009, organised by the Ad Club Bombay, saw the who’s who of media agencies and media owners present, along with several industry players, at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai on July 17.

After bringing all the mediums under the scanner, Punitha Arumugam, Group CEO, Madison Media, reviewed larger issues that media, marketing and advertising are facing.

After a series of four presentation reviews, Arumugam made an interesting presentation revolving around the concerns and issues of clients, media and the media agencies. She noted that clients, media owners and media agencies were all constantly committing the seven deadly sins – anger, pride, greed, sloth, gluttony, envy, and lust.

Arumugam pointed out that the intent for all the three was to build and sell brands. However, in this exercise, the client and media owner demanded more, and in the bargain, the agency tried to figure out what this ‘more’ was.

On the first deadly sin – anger – Arumugam stated the cause of anger were the rates. The one who suffered the most here was the media owner, who felt that the client and the media agency wanted to bring down the rates.

Revenues led to the second deadly sin – pride. Despite the good numbers that showed an increase, the client would want to pay for its brand on the revenue earned. Here Arumugan explained, “Nowadays, all brands are similar, be it for the GEC, news or sports genre. Thus, the negotiation power with the channel and producer becomes a pride sin for the media.”

According to her, the greed factor pertained more to media agencies. She explained, “The fear of losing a client, or retaining or getting new business makes the agency always say ‘Yes’ to the client – from making a storyboard to the advertising of the brand to selling free services. In the bargain, the agency loses out on its time and money.”

Sloth pertains to the media, as this sin does not allow the media agency and media to connect, making the conversations all the more negative. To an agency’s specific demands like ‘Let it be a competitive ad’, ‘first spot in a commercial break’, ‘sponsor mentions’, ‘Black/copy drop compensation’, ‘service deal in totality’ or ‘confirmation of spots’ – the answer would be a ‘No’. “After the series of ‘Nos’, only when you say ‘here is the money’ would the answer turn into a ‘yes’,” Arumugam quipped.

The sin of gluttony is committed by the client with demands for unreasonable audits that are expected to be performed. This, Arumugam said, was not well received by the media agencies as it consumed a lot of time, moreover the rates were dynamic and confidential.

Envy is related to digital, while lust involves innovation for brands. Concluding her presentation, Arumugam affirmed, “Incredible results will come when we get over these seven deadly sins.”

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