Mediapalooza is back, but the fun is tempered by the fact that agencies whose ranks were decimated by layoffs at the front end of the pandemic are running out of people who can pitch, much less service the accounts if they win.
Those were among conclusions of panelists at the ANA Media Conference in Aventura, Florida, on Thursday. Another key takeaway: Marketers pushing for ever-longer payment terms may make it impossible for smaller, independent shops to take their business or pay minority-owned production and media players, which in turn is at odds with marketer wishes to increase the ethnic diversity of their agency rosters.
“Mediapalooza” is the term the industry gave six years ago to a wave of big reviews spawned by the combination of digital disruption and publicity about non-transparent media practices, said Bill Duggan, group executive VP of the ANA. Given frequent three-year cycles, many accounts went out for pitch again in 2018, but with a bigger reverberation this year.
Unilever skipped a cycle after 2015 but is reviewing U.S. and other key global media accounts this year. This year’s media review participants also include Bayer, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Samsung, Chanel, Eli Lilly, Facebook, Hershey, Dyson and Philips among others, Duggan said.
For what it’s worth, Shenan Reed, head of media at L’Oreal USA, a participant in 2015’s Mediapalooza, said in an earlier talk: “We have a phenomenal relationship with our agency Wavemaker. They’ve been our agency for five years.”