‘We have created our own monster’: GroupM boss on media’s role in Donald Trump election

Media owners and media agencies need to think about their public responsibilities in both reporting and investing advertisers money in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as President of the USA, the head of the world’s biggest media buyer has said.

Asked if the media is responsible for the rise of the controversial reality TV star, Irwin Gotlieb, global head of GroupM responded: “We are all complicit in the mess we’ve created.”


Irwin Gotlieb: ‘We have to work harder at understanding what our public responsibility is”

“As the guys who dole out clients’ money, we ensure it gets spent on media that attracts audiences. Media owners chase the story that creates the most attention. We create our own monsters, and we have to deal with that,” he told the CASBAA Convention in Macau.

“We have to work harder at understanding what our public responsibility is,” Gotlieb commented.

“Whether talking about Brexit or the US election, we’ve behaved in a manner that suggests that we’ve deserved what we’ve got,” he said.

On the implications of a Trump presidency for the media business in Asia, CASBAA CEO Christopher Slaughter, a former CNBC journalist and anchor for Metro News Radio in Hong Kong, told Mumbrella Asia that while there would unlikely be any short-term impact, the election result could play out in the billionaire’s stance on media mergers, particularly for news organisations.

“Trump has been opposed to merger activity in the media space, and that has global implications,” Slaughter said, with a nod to the proposed AT&T purchase of Time Warner.

“Those implications might not be immediate, but they are implications.”

“Donald Trump has been on the record as being opposed to multi-lateral trade arrangements, and we’ll see what comes of that. That also has implications for our industry,” he said.

“However, when you’re dealing with Donald Trump, what has become apparent is that campaign rhetoric might not translate into implementable policy.”




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