“If you bully consumers, you will create problems for yourself,” remarked Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP. In a world where technology is becoming an intrinsic aspect of all communication, Mr Sorrell’s advice is to ensure transparency with consumers as issues of privacy and data sharing rise.
“People have the right to be concerned. The industry has to solve privacy issue. It has to simplify decisions and give consumers the time to understand it. Consumers want transparency – they want to know what they are getting into and how that data is being used,” Mr Sorrell pointed out.
Mr Sorrell asserted that especially in times such as these, long-term relationship between brands and consumers, and between agencies and clients, is critical. “We develop strategy for our clients that help them in long term brand building, engaging consumers and establishing a relationship. Everything we do is integrated and has a coherent purpose,” he noted.
Commenting on the technology led media owners, Mr Sorrell reiterated that the likes of Google and Facebook cannot be dubbed as technology companies. He said, “These are media companies masquerading as technology companies. They are trying to monetise their inventory in much the same way that a media company would even though these are new age media companies that bring vibrancy to our business. Twitter’s new leadership should be interesting to watch out for. Yahoo is aggressive again. Facebook has built momentum and is also very aggressive. We are seeing a softer side of Google now, which could be because of the competition it is facing but the business is very alive right now with these companies.”
Mr Sorrell reiterated that the world is as much about the math men and women, as it is about mad men and women. However, the conventional definition of mad men has changed and become much broader to include the changing role of data in creativity. He said, “The inclusion of Creative Data Lions in the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival of Creativity is an indication of the role that technology is playing in creativity. The canvas, and the required skillset for the demands of communication today, is changing for something much more dynamic.”