OMD boss Coad: ‘Don’t waste a good recession’

Media agency boss Mark Coad today urged employers to use the downturn to get the best staff while they’re on the market, and for marketers to use it to get cheaper ads.   

Coad, CEO of OMD, told today’s Mumbrella Question Time: “I don’t know who first said this – but don’t waste a good recession. When it comes to our business we’ve seen a huge opportunity to invest in talent. There’s more talent out there then there has been for a long, long time. And it’s a whole lot easier to attract and it’s a whole lot easier to find, in fact more often than not they’re finding you.”

He added: “I wouldn’t be a media agency unless I was telling clients they’re going to buy market share points cheaper now because their competitors probably don’t have the handle like they used to have. They’re chiseling out a whole lot more value and can certainly get a whole lot more for their money.  The market share points you’re going to buy at the moment are going to be the cheapest they’re going to be for a good while.”

Fellow panelist Dejan Rasic, co-founder and executive creative director of Colman Rasic Carrasco, shared Coad’s positive approach to the downturn, refusing to acknowledge it. He said: “There’s always talk about doom and gloom and GFC and it’s really boring because that’s all we hear about. We haven’t felt it, we’re busier than ever. I don’t really get why there’s such an emphasis on it and we just need to get on with it and do what we do. The more we talk about it the worse it is, we just have to ignore it.”

Meanwhile, Kat Thomas MD of PR agency One Green Bean argued that public relations can sometimes be cost effective in a downturn. But she added: “The outlook needs to be a lot more targeted. The old school approach to PR is very much ‘spray and pray’ – spray a press release out and pray someone will bloody run with it.  And I think that when you’re looking at budget effectiveness you’re looking at campaign effectiveness, identifying the consumer you want to connect with and engage with. So it’s about being very targeted. That’s where it can affect the budget spend.”


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