The #FOMG19 in Rome is a wrap. It was an honour to serve in the jury (Insights and Technology) and I am extremely glad I spent the full two days at the conference. Here is what I am taking away from #FOMG19:
1. THE FOMG is a blessing
Let me start by admitting I am a groupie: The Global Festival of Media is THE international conference focused entirely on media. If your job is in managing, planning, buying, consulting, supporting or procuring media or media services – then you shouldn’t miss it: In fact, you should be grateful to Jeremy King (and his team of course) for putting all his energy – of which he has a lot – into this platform: With our industry evolving as it does, it is vital that we have this forum to learn, gauge and connect.
2. Awards Judging is hard and exhilarating work
Judging can be a wonderful experience for three reasons: firstly and obviously, you get to spend a day looking at great work. Secondly, all three juries reported that they had lively discussions upon which jurors actually did change each other’s minds. What a welcome switch from today’s world enamoured with debates that only harden opinions and foster extremism. Finally, award judging is a social experiment: most judges are accomplished leaders, used to listeners following their lead. Here, they are in for a change: It is exciting to see a group of people – working together only once – to find their voices and assign roles within the group. A special thanks to Nadine Karp McHugh of our Insights and Technology jury for setting the tone and keeping us on track.
3. Diversity beyond the Political Correct
How refreshing: kicking off the conference with three of the most amazing and accomplished women set a tone of open mindedness and sharing that carried us through two full days: What a load of an inspiration we got from Jaz, Ellie and Gemma.
4. Who wants to make deals while frolicking on bouncy castles
If you experienced the Snapchat ferris wheel in Cannes, you must have had mixed feelings about the comparatively modest swing set they put up in Rome: are media folks just not worthy of the extravaganza or are we respected enough to be offered deals in a less outrageous setting? Anyway, the setting at the Rome Cavalieri is nice enough to be exciting, but nowhere near as pretentious as to force attendees to explain the glitz to clients and controllers.
5. Resolving the Trust Crisis
Great to see Doug Wood pushing for the industry to get their act together beyond the blame game and importantly before industry regulation. Most agree that the Trust Summit is a vital step, but here is what became clear during the session “Restoring Trust – A Transparent Journey”: if you refuse to even acknowledge that there is a trust issue, than you will most likely not be part of the solution.
6. Who cares who is to blame
The industry needs a relaunch. The “Stable Triangle of Shit” (locking the industry in a downward spiral of distrust, cost-focus and inefficacy) must come to an end. First step is to stop the finger pointing as suggested in a refreshing quote from Ben Jankowsky brought on stage by WFA’s Matt Green “There is plenty of blame to go around for all of us to share.”
7. There’s a light!
At times over the last two decades we felt pretty lonely to be insisting that there really is a different model benefitting all sides. What a welcome dose of encouragement to hear from the heads of media from two leading global marketers to join the good fight and present their enlightened new operating models: David Indo of ID Comms brought Robert Rakowitz of Mars who shook up the audience. His verdict on the media industry is that it is in a crisis much like the environmental crisis, but lacking the visible victims of its destructive force. He presented a radical and optimistic vision of sustainable media operations, insisting that “Reach at no cost is reach at all cost. What we need is reach with responsibility”. Josep Hernandez of Pepsico refused to follow his industry peers’ advice on avoiding the finance and procurement teams: he reported an overcoming of the trench wars to benefit the whole ecosystem of media because interest and importantly success metrics are aligned and truly shared.
THAT is the future: Sustainable media as a business driver. You heard it here first: I cannot wait to see you all at #FOMG20