Culture & Opinions

We like our people to have opinions. Freethinking is a key part of what makes us an effective communications partner.

While the solutions we provide will always be based on solid understanding and insights, this part of our site is about sharing thoughts, ideas and views on media and advertising. Don’t agree? Join the debate on our social channels or get in touch. We welcome guest opinions as well!

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CAN THE BANNER AD BE RESUSCITATED? by Simon Watson, Head of Digital

Having famously complained: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half”, it would be interesting to see what John Wanamaker made of the banner landscape in 2017.

In 2017, banner viewability (ads seen by a person) in the UK is just 52% – the lowest in the western world.

Given the attribution and research tools available, ad viewability could and should be 100%. So why isn’t it?

The problem lies in “performance” campaigns – those aimed at driving an acquisition.

Click based conversions are almost non-existent meaning campaigns are reliant on post-view conversions – a banner is served and a user later finds their way to site and converts.  But if impressions are never seen,  they haven’t influenced the user and they would have converted regardless?  It’s like attributing a conversion to a press ad that appears on page 42 of a 40 page newspaper. (more…)


In 2006, the ‘Me Too’ movement was created by Tarana Burke, a Brooklyn-native activist who sought to ‘empower through empathy’. The campaign focused on women of colour, particularly from underprivileged communities, who had previously experienced sexual abuse.

The campaign caught fire in October this year when actress Alyssa Milano wrote this Tweet in reaction to the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations:

The effect was unmissable and brought a behind-closed-doors topic firmly into the public domain. It seems naive to say the results were shocking, yet scrolling through my own newsfeed, I was struck by how often I read: ‘me too’. (more…)

THE EVER INCREASING OPPORTUNITY OF ONLINE TV AND VIDEO by Charlotte Bell, Head of Insight and Strategy

Simon Crunden’s last post ( revealed ‘jaw-dropping shifts in time spent with on and offline media’, which prompted me to take a closer look under the bonnet of the new Touchpoints 2017 release.  First up is TV and video, which is still the largest media platform – on average we spend a staggering 4 hours 11 minutes per day consuming TV and video content.

There’s no surprise that online video is the fastest growing element of this, up 280% since 2014, so I thought I’d focus my investigations here. Don’t get me wrong, the big screen in our living rooms remains the most powerful mass communication channel with 83% of our TV/video viewing done on a TV set, but online TV and video offers a tremendous opportunity to extend this.

Whatever your audience, online TV and video has a role to play, even the over 55’s spend 1 hour 37 minutes per week with the channel. However, if you’re targeting the under 35’s then you can’t afford to ignore it – they spend 1 hour 11 minutes per day watching TV and video online. It’s also a good way to up-weight the relatively light traditional TV viewing region of London, with 70% of Londoners consuming the channel on a weekly basis.

The challenge though for media planners is the plethora of consumer access points to online TV and video, from the high quality content of broadcaster and subscription based VOD, to user generated content that proliferates sites like YouTube and Facebook. Let’s take a closer look at the non-traditional TV/video viewing platforms:

With the exception of YouTube, it’s the non-ad funded channels that deliver greatest reach. Last week Netflix announced it has outstripped its own growth expectations in Q3 with 5.3 million new subscribers, and this is certainly borne out in the TouchPoints data. For the under 35’s, Netflix is now the second largest video content site with almost 40% accessing it on a weekly basis, likely to be a result of their continual investment in quality, original content. Sky On Demand is the current star of the commercial broadcaster VOD services, interestingly its weekly reach has grown 58% since the TouchPoints 2016 release and in that time it has overtaken both ITV and All 4 to claim the top spot (by a whisker) for commercial broadcaster VOD. The over 55’s though are more likely to turn to the ITV Hub and the under 35’s to All 4. So from a media planning perspective, the simple answer is no one ad-funded channel is big enough to deliver huge reach, it needs a mix, and that needs to be optimised based on the audience and campaign objectives – not too dissimilar from any other channel then?