Online advertising no longer for the niche…

Toyota GB commercial director Paul Philpott’s comments in ISBA’s annual report (MW July 7) are a clear warning to traditional advertising agencies either to embrace the digital age and become integrated or suffer dire consequences.

Philpott asserts that “television is no longer a must-have on a media schedule and (one of) the big issues is the growth of the internet and the power of Web advertising”. This comes hot on the heels of Procter & Gamble global marketing chief Jim Stengel cutting US cable TV spend by 25 per cent and terrestrial TV by five per cent, while at the same time shifting spend online.

Latest figures bear witness to the dramatic change in the advertising landscape. About 28 million British consumers now surf the internet and while advertising spend is set to grow by only 2.9 per cent in the UK this year, Zenith Optimedia expects the internet to go stratospheric with a 29 per cent rise.

Most ominous of all for traditional TV-oriented agencies is that the internet now enjoys a greater reach between 10am and 7pm than any other media (source: IAB).

While Stengel tactfully asserts that he only has a strategy to “be with the consumer” and not a strategy to move to the internet per se, it’s safe to say that there is only one direction the consumer is moving and that’s digital. You could now say the same for big brands.

Louis Halpern

Chief executive

Halpern Cowan Advertising

London NW6

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