Michael Roth

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The Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG) just announced a minority investment in Samba TV. Props to Michael Roth and Chad Stoller. This looks like money well invested.

I’m always looking for the Is-Does when it comes to brands and Samba TV seems to be an analytics company. One tapped into 10 million household TV cable boxes. The Does of the Is-Does may be best described by co-founder and CEO of Samba TV, Ashwin Navin: “We think that more data will allow brands to reach more people they care about and waste less of their media budgets.”

This bulls eyes the famous John Wannamaker quote “I know half my advertising is working, problem is I don’t know which half.” Samba TV may not corral the missing half, but it will start to get close.

Nice to see IPG getting back up on the horse again. It’s good for business. Peace!


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Google and Facebook are collecting scads of data about each and every user of their applications.  They are doing something smart with that data, serving ads, but have not yet scratched the surface of what they can do with that data.

Google bought DoubleClick a couple of years ago, the world’s leading advertising server and analytics company. Facebook is also strengthening its analytics capability.

Planning and buying media, both online and offline, has always been a pretty technical and complicated science and it still is to a large degree. The practice has been specialized and data-driven but always managed by the capable hands of usually creative human beings.   Yet if Google and Facebook use the algorithm to parse and predict buying behavior, and do it with NASA-like precision, what will become of ad agency media departments? Or Nielsen? Or stand alone media buying agencies?

Do you think C-level agency executives are thinking about this?  Does this keep Mssrs. Levy, Wren, Sorrell and Roth and their successors up at night?  Mr. Levy and Publicis own Altas – that was a smart move. Do you think there will be a backlash against Google and Facebook? Are they getting too much power? Love to hear your thoughts.  Peace it up!

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