The key Upfront and NewFront "words" this year are "flexibility" and "correction." The key question to yet be answered is whether the negotiations will be concluded by mid-July in a spirit of "collaboration," or will a "confrontational" battle extend into late August? During Cadent's Pre-Upfront panel discussion last week with IPG's Maureen Bosetti, GroupM's Gibbs Haljun, dentsu's Mike Law and Horizon's Mike McGovern, as moderator I briefly touched on the changing of the guard in network buyer-seller relationships. Maureen, Gibbs, Mike, Mike and others who drive Upfront decisions are at the forefront in network TV and video media buying influence. Their purview may or may not extend deeply into digital budgets; may or may not incorporate Amazon, Walmart Media, Roundel-Media re-imagined by Target and other emerging commerce-based budget-suckers. They may or may not have influence in audio, out-of-home and mobile; and it's unlikely they're actively engaged in social media or search.
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