Ottokar Rosenberger, UK country manager, eHarmony
How we deal with data will dictate how this is going to play out. I can see a future where ad performance data flows directly between media owners and brands, and we are going to move to a model where we can take real-time bidding for ad space into mass media.
Set-top boxes in every home will lead to models that are built around performance-related pay. Some people think it might happen through agency-run trading platforms, but it might actually be direct deals between brands and media owners.
That somewhat diminishes the role of media agencies in negotiating deals. They might keep it to some extent because they are brokers, and we will need brokers. It could lead to direct relationships, with the media owner, the brand owner and the media agency all sitting in one room.
The media agency will be more concerned with the integration of media channels, and what that means for clients. The role of looking across your media mix and advising you where to put your money and how that impacts on the consumer is still an important role that media agencies have to play.
Keith Moor, director of brand and communications, Santander
Brands now do more direct deals with media owners than they used to. This has happened because of the speed with which online media has developed. It is easier to understand the trading model with some online opportunities. For example, there are a lot more cost-per-sale deals, and therefore your exposure is limited to the value you receive when the deal is delivered. It is not as easy to do those deals in other media where you do not get as many direct effects from a promotion.
However, brands might negotiate a deal with a TV supplier for a sponsorship property, for example, but they will still do their deal for spot airtime through an agency. We do deal directly with some media owners, and they tend to be more in the online space than the offline space.
Media agencies are trying to change their model. They have been a lot more progressive than creative agencies have been because their margins were compressed more quickly. Now they make sure a proportion of their fee is buying expertise and consultancy, not just grunt. We use Carat, and they used to be known as gorillas with calculators. They do get us the rates, but now we also buy people and expertise.