Tajer admits delays in automation project – and telegraphs ambitions to be media boss

Henry Tajer

A project to automate bookings between media agencies and media owners has taken far longer to make progress than anticipated, the president of the Media Federation of Australia has acknowledged.

In a video interview with Encore, Henry Tajer also sent a clear signal he one day wants to be boss of a media company.

Asked about the move to booking automation, Tajer said: “It’s fair to say it is taking longer than anyone would like.” The complicated nature of the project and corporate upheavals such as Nine’s refinancing slowed progress last year, Tajer suggested.

His comments come two-and-a-half years after he set out the creation of the new platform as a priority during his time as president. Tajer is also chairman of Mediabrands, the parent company of media agencies UM and Initiative.

Back in 2010, Tajer said that the long-term survival of media agencies relied on moving from manual sending of emails or faxes to making bookings electronically.

Although the rise of real-time trading and demand-side platforms has made the automation of online advertising a reality, doing the same for television is now the priority.

In the Encore interview, Tajer conceded: “There has been progress. There has been a lot of work done in working with the television industry and trying to find a technology platform that will help us and our television partners take some of the pain out of the process.

“There is a hell of a lot of complexity we didn’t know as a collective that we’d come across. We’re not really focusing on who is going to pay for it. As a group, everyone has contributed significant amounts of money into maintaining this evolution. It’s a big process and it’s not the sort of stuff that happens quickly and there are lots of stakeholders.”

He added: “A number of operators in the industry went through their own corporate restructuring. There were a lot of distractions in the media sector last year that we had to work around.”

He emphasised: “There is a commitment to continue.”

Meanwhile Tajer also used the interview to signal that he would be open to a big job at a media company.

Tajer was previously linked with a move to Ten before James Warburton – himself a former boss of UM – got the job. Asked whether there was still something he wanted to do, Tajer told Encore: “There’s lots of things I would like to do. The media sector is fast becoming an area in the industry I work in where I see huge opportunities. As time passes and as things change within media I think that could be a really interesting and exciting area of the industry to work in. In a leadership function that would be really exciting.”


This feature first appeared in the tablet edition of Encore. To download click on the links below.


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