ZenithOptimedia boss: ‘We are seeing shitloads of really bad content that brands created’

The boss of media agency ZenithOptimedia has told the radio industry to push their content creation credentials arguing there is are currently “shitloads” of badly created branded content flooding the market.

Ian Perrin

Ian Perrin speaking at the National Radio Conference.

In a panel discussion at the National Radio Conference, Ian Perrin told the audience: “(Radio) has some really great assets you’ve got some really great talent and you have an audience.

“I’m sure we have all seen the shitloads of really really bad content that brands have created.“One of the problems I think we are going to see come full circle is because anyone can produce their own content, they therefore think they have a right or ability to produce great content.

L:R Vijay Solanki, Chief Digital Enablement Officer, Southern Cross Austereo, Dan Robins, Head of Interactive, OMD, Ian Perrin, CEO ZenithOptimedia, Clay Gill, National Head of Owned and Earned and Paul McIntyre, Editor-at-large, MCN.

L:R Vijay Solanki, chief digital enablement officer, SCA; Dan Robins, head of interactive, OMD; Ian Perrin, CEO ZenithOptimedia; Clay Gill, national head of owned and earned Mindshare; Paul McIntyre, editor-at-large, MCN.

Challenged on the role of media agencies in commissioning and creating that “really really bad brand content” Mindshare national head of owned & earned Clay Gill responded that publishers and broadcasters just needed to better sell their knowledge of the space.

“It is the publishers who are best placed to produce content, you guys need know this area better by a country mile,” said Gill.

The panel of media agency representatives was discussing the role of paid, earned and owned media in the fragmenting media landscape.

“Everything is coming together,” said Perrin, who noted that “the classification of paid, owned and earned really frustrates the shit out of me.

“Let’s be honest, we have had those three things for as long as we have been communicating brands. If you think about what we call owned media now, it used to be called sponsorships and assets, if you think about earned media that used to be called PR and paid media used to be called advertising.”

“We have just reclassified those three things, in some cases, to make ourselves sound smarter to our clients but also to show how those three aspects work closer together.”

Perrin said the labels were only helpful if media owners, clients and agencies used them to shift the discussion.

“That to me is the crux of the issue how do paid, owned and earned now need to work together to solve client problems,” he said.

“The starting point is no longer paid advertising, rather the starting point can be in the earned space or experiential space. It can be a stunt, it can be an ad, it can be a sponsorship asset – thinking more broadly means your starting point changes.

Mindshare’s Gill also spoke about the role of data in getting more effective online advertising telling the room: “We are happy when we get a one per cent click through or response rate.

“But I guarantee you that in five years time that response rate will be at 10 per cent because what we are going to try and do is use real time data from the customers to say ok you make X there is an audience that wants X give it to them and you will see higher conversion rates in the relevant space.

“It is about the CMO being able to talk to the CFO and say ‘I can prove to your investment will return’ we are now seeing that roll out.”

OMD head of interactive Dan Robins said the return on investment (ROI) conversation was already being had but was being complicated by the growing concern about adblocking, especially in digital media.

“There is a shift toward ROI instead of this ‘feels’ style of the right advertising but there is a long way to go,” said Robins.

“Attribution modelling there are these meetings but the last click model is wildly prevalent. For me the big interest point is the whole ad blocking debate.

“It is getting a lot of press time at the moment for what is still a relatively low number and a flat number.

“If that does grow on the back of all the press and Apple’s move with iOS9 then maybe we will see a shift of brands towards a shift in spend.”

Nic Christensen 

Mumbrella travelled to the Gold Coast as guests of Commercial Radio Australia. 


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