Agencies await their ‘moment of truth’

The “first moment of truth” (MW May 18) has been around for a very long time, the concern is that agencies have historically not treated it with any degree of respect as it has not been a fee-earning vehicle.

The fault here does not lie with agencies but with the Marketing At Retail (MAR – another acronym for you) industry combined with historical circumstance. It has simply never been a formally bought medium and therefore it was outside the agency remit. This despite the activities of POPAI and others to demonstrate that it was a very effective investment.

Only in recent times has a formal “sale” of in-store media taken place and then on a very limited scale.

Given that the medium has not been recognised, it has meant that the wide-ranging measurement structures introduced in other media to back up the sales process have not been introduced.

I do not believe that one medium is necessarily “better” than any other, it is more a question of application to a particular target market. With the changes to retail and media buying structures that have started and will undoubtedly continue, a more representative proportion of spend will go in-store than has been the case to date. This is not because of a sudden change in effectiveness of in-store but simply recognition.

When agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi start to get involved with MAR, as it is now doing, it means that the dam has burst and we can expect significant change to come.

Martin Kingdon

Director general

POPAI UK and Ireland

Devonshire House


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