Media agency review sessions for some can be weekly, but for most its a monthly retrospective session, the purpose is based on your media agency reporting around what did/didn't work along with tweaks and recommendations for the coming month or quarter.

How often at these sessions are you seeing the 'ad fraud' report that tells you that circa 50% - 75% of each £/$ spent goes to ad fraudsters via bots - don't worry it's a rhetorical question.

There is a view around paid media that its still the most effective way to deliver 'reach'. 

Some of which I might subscribe to if I wasn't aware of empirical and overwhelming evidence that flags up the consumer telling us that ad skipping, ad blocking, and GDPR are clear signs that it could be the opposite?

Once upon a time, brands could reach millions of consumers organically without spending any money on paid media. All they needed were “friends” who would wait with bated breath for the latest branded content.  

In ad tech land there are over 7k companies who all have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth that 'paid media' is the only way for brands to go. In addition to these guys it's clearly in any media agency's interest that you continue to place your marketing budget around a strategy based on reach, after all that's how they make their money as well.

See the thing is (because I've done it) 'paid media' can indeed provide reach, but it's just a vanity metric, in the same way that getting someone to stand in the middle of the street near a football ground will allow me to show a message to 50k+ fans, but is that really an accurate measurable or a sound strategy?

As more and more web browsers are having to adapt or die in the increasingly draconian world of data privacy, the impact is being felt none more so than in the industry that continues to assume the mantle of 'Emperors New Clothes, which is that of the programmatic ad tech industry. 

A technical solution that allowed brands to bid in real time and stretch their message to as broad a number of people as possible is finally having to wake up to the fact it has truly shot itself in the ad tech foot.

There is a growing online movement with the hashtag #turnoffadtech and it seems to be having a positive effect on a number of global FMCG brands who turned off ad tech and felt no real impact on sales, or brand awareness.

If you use Safari then the intrusive ad industry has almost given up on you, which for me is a great thing, what about you?

So when you read 'opinion' pieces from industry media portals like 'Ad Age' whose primary role is to perpetuate the myths around all kinds of paid media (link below) you really do need to take balanced view.

I'm certainly not one of those guys who say it's either one or the other (paid or earned) but I do have a saying which is 'why turn the lights out to burn a candle'

Which is basically saying that if all your doing is burning budget on 'paid media' it's likely your simply investing in diminishing fraud ridden returns.

Of course anything 'earned' takes time, that's why you 'earn' it and today's digitally savvy social media consumer doesn't buy into your overly polished corporate message, or your digitally intrusive adverts - because if they did why are they continuing to install ad blockers and reaching for the remote to skip those ads, along with being grateful for the GDPR gods for intervening at long last?

There is an alternative way, but it relies on brand going 'cold ad tech turkey' for a period of time, it relies on going back to basics with story telling and creativity, it relies on those brand being prepared to 'listen' to it's audiences, it relies on those brands becoming more socially engaging.

And it totally relies on brands moving away from the standard 'quick fix' of reach which is driven by the 'advertise and promote' thinking that's led to the Tsunami of intrusive advertising that's pissing people off.

BTW - the term social media came from ad land, before that they were simply social networks!!!