Archive for January 7th, 2010

Time the avenger

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Sir Martin Sorrell, chairman-CEO of WPP Group and one of the world’s most powerful ad men, explains in an interview with Sparksheet, why online ad spending is growing so slowly compared to users’ adoption of life online:

People take time to change. They might not get it yet. You become the CEO of a company and it’s taken you 25 years, and the last thing you want in your last four or five years is violent change. You want things to go on just as they have before. So it’s a natural human emotion if you like – a human feeling – to resist this change. But it’s only a question of time. Because if consumers are spending 20 or 25 percent of their time online, and clients are spending 12 or 13 percent of their budgets online, there’s a natural gravitational pull to that 25 percent.

“By the time the spend gets to 25 percent, say over the next five years, we’ll probably be spending a third of our time online. And so, as one of our clients said, maybe by then there’ll be less of a gap as we’ll all be used to it. It’s purely a function of time and people’s unwillingness and resistance to change.”

Sorrell’s key point also explains newspapers’ slow adoption of online media: “You become the CEO of a company and it’s taken you 25 years, and the last thing you want in your last four or five years is violent change. You want things to go on just as they have before.”

In the interview, Sorrell also endorse charging for news  online, advertising via product placement and a need for airlines to increase their “investment in the soft touches – video, food, etc.”