Last Friday, at the ‘The Future of Advertising’ some of the industry’s great minds took to the Old Brewery stage to deliberate what professionals should be expecting in the coming years. WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, Channel 4’s CEO David Abraham and Google UK MD Ronan Harris debated intensely for an hour issues around the continued lack of diversity in the industry, the effects of Brexit on recruitment as well as the future of creativity.
On the topic of creativity, Channel 4’s David Abraham discussed how the broadcasting company were able to think outside-of-the-box to reach their audiences, using advances in technology. Mobile was also touched upon by the panel, with everyone agreeing that although spend continues to grow (currently 51% of digital display advertising) there is scope for much more as consumers spend more time on their smartphones.One of the key subjects discussed by the panel was the continued domination by Google and Facebook. Latest figures show that by 2020 Google and Facebook will take more than 70% of all UK online display spend. Sir Martin Sorrell made a point to emphasise that not only should Google and Facebook take more responsibility for the issues highlighted on each platform in the last couple of months (e.g. fake news), they must provide more information for advertisers to target in a more refined way without breaching users’ privacy. The conversation reached its peak when Sir Martin stated that “Amazon is going to give Google a run for its money on search” and vice versa Snap Inc. will begin to threaten Facebook on social.As a child of the 90s, I’ve pretty much grown up with Google and Facebook as main players in my online experiences. So with conversation now turning to how their respective contenders (Amazon and Snapchat) are now creeping up, it’ll be interesting to see how increased options for advertisers will have an effect on the industry. If, as Sir Martin predicts, Google and Facebook will be forced to offer more in order to combat their competitors and keep a tight grip in the market.Pam Odumusi, Account Executive