Former Johnson & Johnson marketer: ‘Mediapalooza is driven by rise of procurement’

A former vice president for Johnson & Johnson in Asia Pacific has blamed the growing power of procurement for the spate of global media reviews which have put almost $250m of billings in play in the local market.

L:R John Preston, Kate McClymont, Rowena Millward

L:R John Preston, Kate McClymont, Rowena Millward

Rowen Millward, the head of Seven West Media’s client partnerships, told a forum this morning: “I see in the industry there is a lot of focus on cost and efficiency and I think a lot of the pitches happening at the moment have been driven by a fear of missing out.

“A lot of clients are jumping on to that bandwagon not necessarily because all of the relationships are broken – a lot of them aren’t broken – but cause there is a fear.” 

Millward was speaking at the Newspaper Works Influencing session on a panel with Match Media CEO John Preston, Fairfax investigative journalist Kate McClymont and head of carnivores at Taronga Zoo Deborah Price.

Asked about the spate of global pitches Preston noted: “Some of the global pitches which are going on are caused by confusion.

“The whole market has changed, and changed quite rapidly, and clients are just wanting to make sure they are getting the right story.”

Millward, who was previously a vice president of marketing Asia Pacific for Johnson & Johnson vision care, with the FMCG giant one of the brands currently involved in a global pitch. She said procurement was playing a key role in the series of pitches which has been dubbed “mediapalooza”.

“I think this is being driven by the rise of procurement,” she said.

“If you talk to most of the clients who are responsible for the outcome of the agency relationship then you find many of them would not necessarily pitch.

“But they are trying to balance how do I get efficiency and effectiveness but also how do I understand new ways to unlock value in the partnership. It’s not always clear how to do that.

“Clients want good people who will go with them on that journey.”

The senior Seven West partnerships executive argued conversations need to be more than about money.

“When a conversation is solely about share of wallet things come undone and often it goes to pitch often without it necessarily being about trust,” she told the room.

“I do think the market will come to see that trust is more important than share of wallet. If you have a fair share of wallet, good share of mind, great share of heart then why would you pitch?”

John Preston argued that trust was increasingly important as marketers seek trusted advice.

“Trust becomes more important at a time of change and feel that you have the best advice as you go through transition,” he said.

“Perhaps it is that they feeling a bit unsettled about am I getting the best advice in the world of turmoil and change?

“Maybe most of those global pitches won’t move. It may be that they find they are in good company and will stay.”

Nic Christensen

Related content:


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.