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Communications.Management.Marketing

Truth Is Just Perception

Do The Old Bosses Of Major Advertising Agencies Understand Social Networks?

The answer to this question is negative if we are to believe a recent article by Reuters. So are these communicators still relevant?
Reuters gives us an anthology of distressing statements by leaders of the media world. I chose those two:

  • Maurice Levy, Publicis CEO: “Twitter and Facebook are just not for me. I hate the idea that I should share things that are not destined to be shared or are superficial.” It is as if an automobile manufacturer had no driver’s license. IMHO, it’s difficult to be proficient in an industry when you do not have the slightest practice, and even more so in an area as engaging as social networking. Maurice Levy says he keeps abreast of social media professionally, but he doesn’t need to use Twitter in order to understand its importance: “I understand how to clean the dishes without doing it regularly.” Do I really need to emphasize the stupidity of such a comparison between dishes and social media?
  • Martin Sorrel, WPP CEO, of which I have already made a friend on Superception: “I have enough to do to answer my emails. I am 66 years old, I’m almost in the glue factory.” Martin, on this point at least, you show lucidity. But it is unfortunate that advertisers, who should be like sponges absorbing social trends, are this much defined by their age.
(CC) World Economic Forum

(CC) World Economic Forum

The statements of Levy and Sorrell are striking given the impact of social networks on the formation of perceptions of hundreds of millions of people around the world (the very public targeted by the brands advised by Publicis and WPP) as well as on the advertising market. The same market in which Levy and Sorrel are managing heavyweights.

But, clearly, the economic weight of Publicis and WPP on the advertising market is not as heavy as the weight of years on the shoulders of their leaders.

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