‘It drives me insane’: Telstra CMO lashes industry for separation of media and creative

The head of marketing for Telstra has said “it drives me insane” when asked about the separation of creative and media agencies.

Joe Pollard


In recent years the debate has been whether agencies should re-merge the creative and media functions which separated during the ’90s and the emergence of more specialist agencies, with several marketers slimming down their rosters to cope with the workload.

“I think it’s a great tragedy,” Joe Pollard told the RethinkTV conference in Sydney. “I grew up in a world where, early in my career, I spent as much time with the creative teams and the production teams as I did with the media owners planning and buying media.

“Now I’m back in client side it’s something I reinforce. We don’t look at creative without media and if I could have my way we’d have one group of people.

“We bring everyone together and it is one team. I would prefer fewer people 100% on the business all in the room together. And we encourage them to work outside, and if there’s fighting for who owns the client relationship – and all that bullshit that I know goes on – it’s not accepted because we’re all about having great people get in a room and solve our problems.think-tv-joe-pollard

“I think the structure of the agency model currently, you have to force it as a client because it’s impossible to do it if you’re sitting on the agency side. And the added thing from TV perspective is you have to demand the media owner is part of those conversations. We have the best success when the media owner is involved.”

“It’s a long-winded way of saying it drives me insane,” she added.

Youi CMO Hugo Schreuder said the company had not used either creative or media agencies and preferred to do those functions with in-house teams for the last seven years.

He explained: “Our model really works well. We have unbelievable relationships with all the media, and it’s a wonderful privilege to sit with all the media, explain the challenges and come up with the solutions.”


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