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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au ADRIAN FARROW Managing Director, Westwick-Farrow How does the ongoing consolidation in the industry impact on the independent media company? I would suggest not at all. We are always below the radar, and we have never been in focus with these people. They are so focused on consumer, so really the only area they may be interested in is fi nancial. For hard-core B2B, it has no effect. How is the rapid growth and innovation, especially with digital being handled in the B2B arena? Those who aren’t there are going to be very sorry, very soon. We are already seeing the eff ects. In our particular case, we have obtained a lot of business through digital that weweren’t getting, but one can imagine that a lot will be switched across in the future some point, even at an experimental level because some people will try it out, fi nd it doesn’twork for them and go back to magazines. Are agencies dealing well with the rapid growth? No. I believe that there is such a shortage of trained staff in agency land that it is causing them a great deal of stress, but it will sort itself out. At this stage, I would say that agencies only knowmarginally more than their clients or anyone else. It is a new era because we don’t have many people with more than one or two years experience. What is the biggest threat to the industry? I think the change in government. I think interest rates, that will certainly aff ect some of the smaller publishers who have perhaps extended, and if there is any slowdown in payments to them it could have an undesirable eff ect. Higher interest rates slow down the industry in general. I don’t see any particular threats from technology – one should be embracing these things so it really doesn’t threaten – it will only threaten those who hide their heads in the sand. Any threats that come through will be from the political side. What do media buyer/planners need to knowgoing forward? I think they need to ask. Up to date, a media agency knew what they wanted, they knew how to buy, they knew what was available, and they just ordered it. Now they are going to have to ask the media what is available, what they can buy, how they can make client offerings diff erent to the next person, and be prepared to pay some premium for those extra good things. Because there is constant change, you can’t always rely on the media to tell the agencies. The agencies need to be more in touch with the media and asking questions. “ The agencies need to be more in touch with the media and asking questions.” – Adrian Farrow, Managing Director, Westwick-Farrow