'Like Indian Administrative Services, ad industry needs Media Administrative Services'

Sam Balsara, chairman of Madison World, delivered keynote address at the first edition of e4m Confluence: The Media Investments Summit 2022

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Oct 7, 2022 9:07 AM  | 3 min read
sam balsara

It’s high time the media & advertising sector got skilled cadre in the form of ‘Media Administrative Services’ (MAS), something on the lines of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Tata Administrative Services (TAS), veteran adman and the chairman of Madison World Sam Balsara suggested at e4m Confluence 2022: The Media Investments Summit on Thursday. 

“At present, no media or ad agency figures among the top 10 companies of the world. Business schools often don’t offer a specialisation in media & ad sector. It’s high time we explored setting up MAS on the lines of IAS and TAS. MAS cadre will be hands-on with various expertise like creative, media, digital, PR, content etc. It will help us to get skilled people at mid-level,” explained Balsara. 

Balsara was delivering a keynote address at the e4m Confluence 2022: The Media Investments Summit held on October 6 in Mumbai. Co-powered by ABP News, this was the first edition of the summit.

Themed at ‘The Media Agency of Tomorrow’, Balsara’s session deliberated on how agencies can focus on meeting the needs of the marketers. The veteran also took the audience through the inception and growth of media agencies in India. 

Setting the tone of the event, Balsara highlighted the rising significance of media agencies. “While the first media agency was formed in France in 1968 and then in the US in 1980, India got its media agency in 1993 when P&G signed Madison for its media AOR. There was lot of debate over unbundling of ad agencies those days. Media agencies continue to grow, and today they dominate the ad sector to the extent that creative leaders feel left out in the meetings.” 

Balsara also spoke on how media landscape and brand needs consistently change every four-five years, and thus the composition of the team that presents the content.

Citing statistics, Balsara stated, “Traditional media’s share in the AdEx was 82 per cent in 2017, but now it’s likely to remain just 65 per cent by the end of 2022. Meanwhile, digital media has grown double over the past five years. Print media’s share has declined from 35 per cent to 21 per cent and BARC reports indicate a decline in TV media viewership. Digital has grown globally up to 57 per cent and if we include revenue of web platforms of print and TV media, it could easily touch 77 per cent.”

He insisted that media agencies can dominate in future only if they are open to change as rapidly as the media landscape and needs of the brands. 

He suggested that in order to grow and dominate the ad sector, the industry today needs to have traditional leaders who can integrate digital media easily and vice versa. 

Balsara also urged that the media agencies need to focus more and more on technology to minimise the human power.  



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