Media agencies ‘ticking out-of-date demographic boxes’

jake falkinder

Falkinder: ‘Blind’

Media agencies are “simply ticking out-of-date demographic boxes on their planning programs and turning a blind eye to niche opportunities” a new sales house has claimed.

The claim came from Jake Falkinder, head of strategy at the newly formed Misfit Media.

The sales operation, based on the Gold Coast, will represent website, skateboarding platform and digital surf magazine, targetting an under 35 male audience.

misfit media logoIn a statement, Misfit Media attacked “increasing neglect by media planners to properly utilise popular niche websites as suitable advertising platforms for their clients”.

Falkinder claimed that “time reasons, or perhaps simply a lack of visibility” of certain sites were making agencies and advertisers overlook relvant opportunities. He said: “These sites are attracting a large majority of 18 to 35 year old Australian guys, so the advertisers who are wanting to target these guys end up missing their target.”

chris clark misfit media

Clark: ‘Lacklustre’

His comments were echoed by Misfit’s creative director Chris Clark.  He claimed: “The mainstream online advertising channels simply don’t reach out to these guys, and as a result we are seeing digital ad campaigns trying to target this audience, and delivering lacklustre results.”

He added: “There’s a significant market of Aussie men who check the surf a lot more often than they check the local news. The same guys would rather watch a 90-second skate clip on YouTube than Lady Gaga and Gangnam Style.”


  1. Mr T
    1 Nov 12
    1:04 pm

  2. They should neglect to wear their square glasses

  3. Steve
    1 Nov 12
    1:25 pm

  4. Do you have to wear black rimmed glasses to work at misfit?

  5. The Internetz
    1 Nov 12
    1:27 pm

  6. Looks like they’d know the hipster demo well 😉

  7. darren
    1 Nov 12
    1:42 pm

  8. Not every platform fits into a clients media strategy/budget/creative communication – white thong brigade

  9. Shamma
    1 Nov 12
    1:54 pm

  10. read: you agency guys are such lazy pricks. so … when should i schedule in that face to face meeting so i can tell you in person how lazy you are? Never … okay.

  11. NA
    1 Nov 12
    2:16 pm

  12. Well now when I want to target a 35 year old male who’s interested in skateboarding I know exactly where to go…

  13. Jack Bruce
    1 Nov 12
    2:17 pm

  14. i am sorry but I just cant take anyone seriously who would wear those glasses

  15. Idiot
    1 Nov 12
    2:20 pm

  16. You’re in sales right? Awesome way to alienate a massive chunk of your potential client base.

    Oh and by the way, the average media planner knows that “demographics” are hardly the way to plan effective campaigns in 2012.

  17. Nigel
    1 Nov 12
    2:53 pm

  18. “These sites ate attracting a large majority of 18 to 35 year old Australian guys…”
    Oh really???????

  19. PJ
    1 Nov 12
    2:55 pm

  20. Most workers in agencies are lazy junior burgers who dont want the stress of trying to work out performance of a new media, they recommend and buy what they know, they simply want to do as minimum as possible to earn their 45k a year.

  21. Alex
    1 Nov 12
    2:58 pm

  22. I understand where these guys are coming from, but in reality advertisers are still reaching large volumes of men through the other channels they are using. Agency folk are notoriously time poor so they will try to reach as many of their desired audience as they can, through as few channels as possible. They dont have the time to talk to every niche magazine or website that has an audience of the demo they are after!

    We work in the multicultural space and the same can be said here but probably in larger numbers. There are large volumes of the population who aren’t reading mainstream tradition aussie media, but unfortunately to try to get budget allocated to multicultural media is a struggle.

    Its not a laziness thing (in most cases)…..just a reflection on how the agency model doesnt actually work!

  23. Bld
    1 Nov 12
    3:02 pm

  24. Maybe learn a bit about the challenges in a media agency today and how to be a solution rather than just bagging them. Great sales pitch.

    Oh – and I trust you see the irony in whining about standard demo’s and then refer to your audience as 18-35 men?

  25. Lloyd
    1 Nov 12
    3:26 pm

  26. “These sites are attracting a large majority of 18 to 35 year old Australian guys…” *


    *Yes, as long as they’re into Surfing, Skateboarding and live on the Gold Coast.

  27. John Grono
    1 Nov 12
    3:41 pm

  28. He has a point – we clearly need that brand new demographic of “18 to 35 year old Australian guys”, because the existing Men 18-34 or Men 18-39 just don’t cut it.

  29. Idiot Media Planner
    1 Nov 12
    3:43 pm

  30. I know who won’t be getting briefs from me, as for subculture platforms there are plenty of them and ‘large majority of M18-35’ means more than 50%
    I think they have spent too much time in the GC sun and their brains are fried

  31. Toto
    1 Nov 12
    4:03 pm

  32. I work for a niche publication and website. The fact of the matter is, unless we increase our cost for advertising substantially – which can in turn put off our core client base – agencies aren’t interested, unless they can get a larger commission. No matter how relevant the product is to their clients. It means raising the rate card way above and beyond what we generally charge our clients.

    Probably not the most popular ethos to have on this site I’m sure but……. why don’t businesses employ marketing professionals to do their job’s and actively book the company’s advertising, instead of just liaising with agencies, costing businesses even more money?

  33. Shamma
    1 Nov 12
    4:12 pm

  34. Men into skateboarding ONLY look at skateboarding sites.

    Just like gay people only read gay only websites (isn’t that right?)

  35. JDB
    1 Nov 12
    4:18 pm

  36. Lumping all media agencies in one box is the same as saying all 18-35 men are the are into skateboarding. I guess you can’t see the irony. Should have gone to Specsavers!

  37. Nigel
    1 Nov 12
    4:26 pm

  38. Jake, Chris, fellas, please think a bit harder before going public with such utter tripe – it’s bad for business – yours!

  39. Ant
    1 Nov 12
    5:05 pm

  40. I am on the marketing client side of things and so is my wife. We were having this exact conversation the other day and both expressed our concerns that some buying agencies seem focussed upon selecting channels to fit the commission structures and not the product and it’s fit for the audience. Valuable debate, for agencies and sunglass retailers me thinks….

  41. DanB
    1 Nov 12
    5:15 pm

  42. These Joe90’s are awesome. Genius marketing spin on how to attract media agencies!

  43. El Johno
    1 Nov 12
    6:12 pm

  44. Being a niche publisher, I have found it far more difficult to engage with agencies over the past couple of years for even the most compelling of proposals.
    In many instances, after beating my head against a wall with agencies for weeks on end without so much as a reply email, I have presented direct to the client who makes an affirmative decision within 7 days and directs their agency to book or even does it themselves.
    I can only conclude that many media buyers – particularly at the larger agencies – simply don’t have the time or resources to properly serve their clients these days…

  45. Martin Walsh
    2 Nov 12
    11:49 am

  46. I will say agencies, CMO’s and marketers are largely missing the mark around understanding consumers / audiences in this era of digital disruption.

    Too many if not all are unfortunately using pre-digital methods to segment their consumer base.

    Here’s a great article which I 100% agree with, written by Ray Velez, global CTO for Razorfish – ‘Targeting Readiness Study Shows CMOs Missing Their Mark’

    Here’s more detail about the study referenced in the article above –

    CMO’s, marketers and agencies are content to use old models for understanding consumers rather than taking advantage of the massive torrent of data that the digital age has turned on to get better results from marketing. When it comes to targeting, there’s a lot of room for companies to get smarter.

    The other problem is too many marketers and agencies are placing too much emphasis and money on survey’s and focus groups to understand and or validate consumer attitudes and behaviour. Consumers almost always say one thing and yet do another. ‘Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age’, is a great new book written by Alcatel-Lucent’s Allison Cerra and Christina James. The book focuses on the question – Does technology cause a shift in how we perceive our relationships and ourselves?

    To find the answer, global communications leader Alcatel-Lucent commissioned an extensive research study. Subjects crossed geographic, generational, socioeconomic, and cultural boundaries. Hundreds of hours of documented observation and interviews with real people led to the fascinating conclusions in these pages. While technology will never define us, this study reveals how profoundly it influences the way we define ourselves. The study demonstrates quite dramatically that people say one thing when questioned and surveyed but do another.

    I’ve seen Alison present twice now and here is a good video of one of her presentations where she highlights these behavioural differences and how users perceive themselves in a digital world –

    The bottom line is that marketers and agencies need to be investing time, money and effort in behavioural based personas and not old world pre-digital segmentation models.

  47. John Grono
    2 Nov 12
    12:32 pm

  48. And conversely I urge everyone to read Byron Sharp’s “How Brands Grow (What Marketers Don’t Know)”. I found it a very challenging read, often muttering to myself ‘that can’t be right’. But the longer and deeper I thought about things, I came down in Professor Sharp’s camp.

    While it is very presumptuous of me to try to summarise Sharp’s work, I believe that in essence he is saying that mass media creates mass brands by having broad reach and impact far beyond that of “the target”. His evidence based on studies conducted by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Sciences at the Uni of SA is quite compelling. Brands may be able to very precisely, efficiently and effectivley target and impact in the digital world, but who are they missing out on to grow their brand into a mass brand?

  49. PJ
    2 Nov 12
    2:03 pm

  50. Most workers in agencies are airheads i by pass the agency and just go direct you get an answer staright away

  51. The Internetz
    2 Nov 12
    2:26 pm

  52. Martin Walsh, you are one smart cookie – Definately agree!

  53. Idiot Media Planner
    6 Nov 12
    11:05 am

  54. agencies looking for higher commissions? what are you guys smoking.

    Most clients get the media commission rebated to them at any rate & work on retainers.

    when chasing niche audiences, it is hard to stack up on a CPM basis, which is what TA-DA the clients ask for.

    next time I get a brief targeting gold coast skateboarder hipsters that are aged 18-35 I know who to go to

  55. Another 'Idiot' Media Person
    6 Nov 12
    11:37 am

  56. Totally agree IMP. Last time I saw media commission retained was when I was in media in a full-service agency. In the past decade plus I’ve never seen an account in which the media commission wasn’t rebated (either to the client or upon their instruction back to the creative agency).

    Sorta shines a light on how up to date they are!