Programmatic ‘bridging planning and buying’, says Amnet’s Hobbs

Programmatic advertising is “bridging planning and buying” in a way that has never been possible before, according to the Amnet managing director, Steve Hobbs, speaking at Advertising Week Europe.

Hobbs was one of a panel of experts taking part at a session on programmatic buying, which was described by the Advertising Week Europe executive director, Matt Scheckner, as “the pretty girl at the dance by a pretty wide margin”.

The former Carat deputy managing director, who now runs the Dentsu Aegis Network’s trading desk as managing director, told a packed audience of executives from across the agency and technology industries that the technology was enabling planners and clients to genuinely reach their intended audience.

Hobbs said: “For years and years, planners and clients have been able to create custom audiences via segmentation devices that have been really interesting, really rich, and very exciting.

“Then they pass that audience to the TV buyer who says ‘they look like ABC1 adults to me so I’ll plan that schedule just like all the other ABC1 adult schedules I’ve planned for clients that have got completely different segmentations’ so the schedule come backs and looks exactly the same.

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  • Rob Mortimer

    If work is rubbish it is everyone’s responsibility, so why shouldn’t creating it be everyone’s responsibility?

  • Chris Wilson

    I don’t there should be any such thing as ‘account handling’.

    There should be project managers, who, well, manage the projects. And account managers – and that is where the issue is as you rightly say Steve. They should be so close to the client and their business that they act very much like a planner. In my first agency we didn’t even have planners – we just had really good account people who did both ‘jobs’. They were brilliant marketers and also highly commercially aware. Every day they were the ones being completely indispensible to the client. 

    As always this comes back to the way we charge. If we continue to charge by the hour then we’re lost. If we charge based on value then that’s what clients want, and that’s what’ll be better for the entire industry in the long-term – your point about agency/client trust Steve.

    Clients come to an agency for the creative. They leave when account management becomes account handling…

  • Kevin Gordon

    Very interesting story.
    It’s like baking a cake.
    You can have all the right ingredients, 
    but if it doesn’t rise it’s a flop.
    It’s a question of balance:

    How many client-facing business people V How many creative & production staff.

  • Adam Kennedy

    What a very out-dated discussion. Ho hum.

  • Delfin Vassallo

    Really outdated discussion, I thought these trivialities were already surpassed in most agencies. Multitasking people is now the best asset, I started my career as copywriter, Creative Director… then jumped to client side and now I’m back in agency world as Account Director.

    It’s all about how you combine your skills to develop a unique creative AND commercial profile, contributing holistically to the project success.

  • Andrew Smith

    Labels. Get over it.
    Good Account Directors are good Account Directors regardless of what you want to call them, or hide them. 
    Ever wondered what you’re not being told? Maybe because creatives are too precious to hear what the client actually thinks, and the Account Director applies logical to their irrational complaints.

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