Group M launches addressable TV agency Finecast in Australia

WPP’s media investment group, Group M, has launched its addressable TV agency Finecast in Australia, naming Group M’s VP of media and activation at [m]PLATFORM Brett Poole as its managing director.

Australia is now the agency’s second market globally, after initially launching in the UK one year ago. There, it works with advertisers across industries including automotive, retails, banking and FMCG.

Brett Poole and Mark Lollback at the Melbourne launch of Finecast

Speaking at a media briefing, Poole said Finecast would help brands and advertisers unify household data, because TV isn’t a personal device.

“What Finecast does best here is unifying household data, so in the planning stage we are interested in ‘household’ being a keyword.

“The TV is not a personal device, it is a household device, so when we think about activating and planning for television we are thinking about household data.”

The managing director also noted the ways in which Finecast would help address the rapidly changing industry.

“We see it changing in four major ways… because it is changing, the viewership is changing, so the planning begins to change.

“The activation is complex and getting more complex, creativity I would argue is getting more interesting in addressable TV, right through to the evaluations and measurement of television.”

Outlining some of the capabilities of Finecast, Poole said the agency will be able to help brands and advertisers segment audiences and target their TV advertising beyond what is currently available.

“It gives us a new flexibility to unlock different parts of the marketing funnel.”

Poole said the new agency will help advertisers and media buyers “unlock” household data including socioeconomic data, lifestyle data, behavioural data.

“These are the types of primary data we can help activate and if you are a TV buyer, historically you would be activating on a secondary audience like demographics, the detailed audience planning that happens in agencies now, we can take a brief from clients and agencies on a primary audience now.”

Finecast doesn’t have any ambitions to replace linear television

However, Poole reiterated that the agency doesn’t have any ambitions to replace linear television.

“We are actually protecting broadcasters, we are actually giving broadcasters more opportunities to make money from advertisers.

“The ambition here is not to replace linear TV. Linear TV as an advertising model is still very effective, it is the most cost effective way to build reach and build reach quickly, any marketer will tell you that and it will still play that role for a long, long, long time.”

The new Group M agency has launched with broadcast partners including Seven, Nine, Ten, SBS and Foxtel via Multi Channel Network (MCN).

Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer, said in a statement: “Television has always operated at the top of the marketing funnel, creating mass awareness and an emotional connection to your brand but addressability on TV is a game-changer.

“It brings together the best of television and digital, helping to create people-based marketing solutions that link brand building together with activation and conversion.”

Rod Prosser, Network Ten’s chief sales officer, added: “The introduction of Finecast into Australia opens up many more ways advertisers and broadcasters can collaborate together. Finecast will reshape the benefits of advertising on TV, not just as a high-impact, mass reaching medium, but now with the added benefits of better audience targeting and accountability.”


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