“And now, the end is here, and so I face the final curtain ...”

Well, for 2014 at least. It’s been a fun-filled year of blog posts, of some people saying flattering things (greatly appreciated, all of the time), some taking me to task (also appreciated at least most of the time, we should all aim to continue to learn), and some just yelling at me (which perversely perhaps is fun).

As we get towards Christmas I am far too tired out by all those Christmas lunches, and far too out of ideas not to fall back on the last resort of bloggers (and even real journalists) everywhere and end the year by repeating the bits I’ve liked best. So that’s the bits I like from the things I wrote -- it’s hard to get any more self-indulgent than that.

March

“If agencies want to fulfil their undoubted potential they need to sell the true business benefits they bring; the results not just the mechanics. They need to sell the hole, not the drill.”

March

“Amongst (media agency) services are data analytic skills and the ability to turn the crude oil that is raw data into the valuable fuel that drives insights and leads to competitive advantage. Data skills sit neatly alongside research skills as a crucial input to communications planning. So why subsume these skills within a set of operating principles that are guaranteed to fan the flames that flicker ... within many advertisers that media agencies are basically a bunch of wheeler dealers determined to cheat them at every turn through one means or another?”

April

“Meanwhile the guys who work for either Omnicom or Publicis will no doubt carry on doing what they do, many of them very well, without the distraction of having to contribute to what is said to be 70 integration committees. Maybe they’ll toil away with a tad less admiration for their leaders than they used to have though.”

July

“So we have clients dealing with account teams they like and respect, but a large part of whose work they don’t pay properly for, and who are unable to help them overcome (the clients’) fundamental issues with the (agency’s) trading arms where the money is made. This can’t end well.”

August

“It is now going to be up to GroupM’s media agencies to ‘manage programmatic execution’ as an element in being responsible to their clients for all aspects of delivery.”

September

“Many in agencies have it drummed into them that client procurement teams are responsible for all things bad, from grumpy staff in their agencies to global warming.”

October

“Even the most rabidly enthusiastic digital disciple recognizes that without people we are all sunk, not to mention unemployed. Algorithms and systems are all very well, but the magic bit comes from people.”

November

“When technology first met advertising the resultant conversation was a dialogue of the deaf.”

December

“Publishers -- those people who deliver the content people actually want to read, as opposed to the content that people simply want to write ...”

December

“In a nutshell -- agencies need to deliver a service within which the plans shape the buys. It’s when the buys shape the plans that things go wrong.”

May I thank you for reading the Cog Blog in increasingly large numbers, and for all your comments and feedback. I hope you found at least some of the posts interesting and entertaining.

And most importantly may I wish you and yours a Happy Christmas, a relaxing break and a prosperous New Year.

The Cog Blog will be back early in January 2015.

Brian Jacobs spent over 35 years in advertising, media and research agencies including spells atBrian Jacobs Leo Burnett (UK, EMEA, International Media Director), Carat International (Managing Director), Universal McCann (EMEA Director) and Millward Brown (EVP, Global Media). He has worked in the UK, EMEA and globally out of the USA. His experience covers shifts from full-service ad agencies to media agencies; from traditional single-commercial-channel TV to multi-faceted digital channels; and from media planning to multi-disciplinary communication planning. Brian can be reached at brian@bjanda.com.

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