Why can’t we be friends?


Ben Shepherd writes: I was flicking through B&T today and noticed in the letters section that Ed Smith, Chief Commercial Officer, of News Digital Media had sent in a letter.

So I had a read.

The letter was a no holds barred flogging of FTA TV in response to a Year in Review for Free TV article in the B&T annual.

Firstly I thought – what an odd thing to do. Secondly I thought – what could motivate this?

A funny thing I haven’t really told many people is that in a recent peer review for work it was perceived by some of my peers that I was dismissive of all forms of media that weren’t digital. Personally I was surprised as I don’t think that is the case, but sometimes perception can become reality.

Anyway, I love all media and what drives me to hop in the car, wait in traffic for 50 minutes and show up to work is trying to tie it all together and deliver interesting media executions that can work across different channels and compliment eachother.

And I have a real beef with some people in digital’s constant potshots at all things non beta – https://talkingdigital.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/what-is-digital-medias-problem-with-the-newspaper-business/. It’s just naive.

So to see a senior body like Ed Smith making claims like “it becomes clear that FTA is being pushed aside as an irrelevance” and “Audiences are deserting FTA because they want to control what they watch and when they watch it” and “advertisers want to engage with more relevant audiences and FTA doesn’t support the segmentation and targeting leading marketers are looking for” is just confusing.

I realise these macho pissing contests are all part of the wonderful world of media sales … but I thought digital had evolved beyond criticising other media to try and scramble extra share. Sure, the guy has a commercial goal in mind … he wants more money to hit his targets in 2009 … we all do … but I can’t see it happening using the tactic of highlighting the negatives of your competition.

The thing is, these sorts of well intended but ultimately misguided rambles don’t really do digital any favours. Advertisers can do both – in fact TV and online work very well together. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It’s vitally important for the IAB and the wider digital industry that Paul Fisher can forge closer ties with TV and digital.

The weirder thing is, Ed’s team knows this. NDM are strong in trying to understand the wider comms mix of an advertiser and provide complimentary and interesting solutions – especially in my experience.

I was a little confused that Ed didn’t mention the problems the newspapers industry is going through. I guess he knows where his bread is buttered …

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One response to “Why can’t we be friends?

  1. Pingback: GOODLINX: How to be an online-savvy marketer; How print and online journalism should work; what is social media?; macho pissing contests « mUmBRELLA

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