Video: MDC Partners' Steve Farella on the Data/Creative Merger

By Legends & Leaders Archives
Cover image for  article: Video: MDC Partners' Steve Farella on the Data/Creative Merger

Industry veteran Steve Farella, Chairman of MDC Media Partners and Assembly, founded independent media agency TargetCast which evolved into Assembly after its acquisition by MDC. In our exclusive Legends & Leaders interview with Steve, he shared insights on a wide range of industry issues, with a focus on the merger of data and creative. Below is a sampling of his comments. Watch my full video interview with Steve above and view all our Legends & Leaders interviews at

FARELLA: MDC Media Partners is going to ride this fine line between data and analytics and creativity.  That's how we are going to differentiate ourselves among our competition. There is no media agency out there that doesn't have a bit, a lot or maybe too much of data and analytics in it, right?  And then there are agencies, and hopefully we will be the best at this, at making sure that creativity lives. Be aware that what's dying in our business is creativity.  Data and analytics is kind of smothering it.  Our objective is to take a campaign that our creative agencies have done, that anybody has done, and make it better through media, not kill it through media.

FARELLA: Everything really does have a value.  I will say something very daring:  Newspapers to some people still have a value.

FARELLA: When sellers think that we are buying GRPs that's not the whole story.  We are trying to help move somebody's business, no matter who it is; it could be a product, it could be a service, it could be national, it could be local, it doesn't matter.  At the end of the day, success for everybody is having that client sell more of what they want to sell.Watch my full interview with Steve here.

FARELLA: Sellers need to have big ears.  You've got to really listen, you've got to understand what that customer is all about. There are fundamental things that we are all looking for: transparency, data and analytics and I'm going to say creativity. There are fundamental things that you really have to listen for what agencies want.  We believe that pure big hammer, low cost-per-thousand, those days are gone.  Those days were replaced with great strategy, great creativity. We believe this next phase is going to be data and analytics, but we want to make sure that creativity thrives in that area.

Watch my full interview with Steve Farella here and view all my Legends & Leaders interviews with senior industry executives at

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