The Definition of "Denial"

Sir Martin Sorrell Thinks the Internet is a Medium

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Here is why you should short WPP right now. Sir Martin, writing in the London Times, says the disruption to this newfangled Internet gizmo will roughly parallel the introduction of TV.

The answer to this management dilemma, I suspect, is likely to be not dissimilar to the way that the agency business finally sorted out absorption of commercial television.

Existing, traditional businesses will continue to develop digital expertise. It will take time, because it clearly takes longer to effect change in a big, established company heavily dependent on the success of its traditional business for the foreseeable future. Start-ups — the digital-only specialists — will continue to develop their advertising expertise. The language barrier will gradually be lowered and interpreters will thrive.

There will be constant competition between old and new. Slowly, the new media will cease to be thought of as new media; they will simply be additional channels of communication. And like all media that were once new media but are now just media, they'll earn a well-deserved place in the media repertoire, perhaps through reverse takeovers — but will almost certainly displace none.

Well, he's right about one thing: It'll be a slow process for the existing players. But if he thinks of the digital world as merely some additional channel of communication -- versus a fundamental reordering of the economy and of society -- he needs to retire now. He is a threat to his shareholders. And I also don't think he should be trusted with anything sharp.
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