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MARINA DEL REY, Calif.-Louis M. Schultz, exec VP-director of media services at Lintas USA, doesn't see much of a future for agency media departments.

"In 10 years from now, there will be no media departments," he predicted at the Automotive Advertising Strategy Conference sponsored by J.D. Power & Associates.

With the emergence of new media such as long-form commercials and interactive services, traditional media departments "will be eaten alive" by companies specializing in such services, he said.

But without changing, agencies risk losing out when their clients bypass them entirely.

"Clients are going directly to the rights holders. The biggest single threat [to agencies] is not CAA but in the rebirth of the media supplier as a partner, not an adversary," Mr. Schultz said, referring to Coca-Cola Co.'s shift of creative duties to Beverly Hills, Calif.-based talent agency Creative Artists Agency from McCann-Erickson, New York.

Mr. Schultz's reference to CAA wasn't lost on Peter Sealey, the former senior VP-director of global marketing at Coca-Cola who hired the talent agency in the first place. Now president-chief operating officer of Interactive Network, Mr. Sealey somewhat predictably forwarded the idea that narrowcasting and interactivity is the solution to declining network TV audiences.

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