'Automated' Advertising Systems Another Threat to Agency Infrastructure


More and more, the advertising business is becoming commoditized with services that make it ever easier for advertisers to circumvent the infrastructure that the industry has built over the last 100 years. Every year, another do-it-yourself service crops up offering companies tools to create their own advertising without the need for an agency. Certainly, these services will not replace ad agencies but they may take a dent out of their revenue stream.

Omnicom Group is hoping to stem any potential loss to this new ad-o-matic approach and launched their on such service through on of its agencies, Zimmerman, called Pick-n-Click which provides automotive advertisers 150,000 components to choose from when crafting an ad. car dealer franchise AutoNation has signed on and is using Pick-n-Click for its 331 car dealers.

Other companies such as Visible World, OpenTV, Invidi Technologies and Spot Runner make it easy for advertisers to patch together customized commercials and finitely target, through partnerships with cable companies and proprietary databases, to very specific segments of the population. With services like this and media buying "clubs" such as MediaBuys, the temptation for an advertiser to consider these services over an agency increases each day. Omnicom as smart to get into this area. Will other agencies follow or fight the trend?

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Tools, Trends and Culture   

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The "pick-n-click" link goes to mediabuys.com.

Posted by: Eddie on February 9, 2007 1:13 PM

Reminds me of the parody website I created two years ago, for "stock" copywriting -- adhacks.com -- but now fully fleshed out. Well, you can't say I didn't know it was coming sooner or later...

Posted by: Paul Zink on February 9, 2007 5:39 PM


I'm the founder and CEO of Visible World. It's worth distinguishing the companies you list and what they do, as the philosophies and technologies represent very different approaches to some of the current challenges in the advertising world.

I can't speak for my compatriots in the industry, however at Visible World we eschew the concept of advertising as a commodity.

In fact when engaged with an advertisers/agency combination, by lowering the execution cost of many of the more mechanical aspects of Television advertising and bringing forth targeting opportunities we see more creative created, not less, and certainly not commoditized.

Happy to take you through the differences if you are interested.

Posted by: Seth Haberman on February 19, 2007 10:48 AM