Automated planning will damage brands, says ITV's Daglish

“The curiosity of the media planner is an essential ingredient to changing human behaviour. The curiosity of planners will turn data into gold, create change, lead to market innovation and ultimately create brands, and indeed, clicks.”

Simon Daglish , Deputy MD, Commercial, ITV

Our very own Simon Daglish, deputy MD Commercial at ITV, has suggested that the use of automated data and algorythms when planning where advertising should be bought and placed, is damaging the long-term value of brands. Simon claims that a focus on short-term success metrics is also endangering future profits for brand owners, and removing human interpretation of data is a slippery slope.

Simon spoke at the Mediatel event last week which was heavily focused on the future of media planning where he said:  “The highest aspiration in advertising, in my view, is to change human behaviour but today I fear the highest aspiration is to create a click.''

Daglish highlighted the rise of the UK supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, which have no FMCG (fast moving consumers goods) brands on their shelves and are instead stocked with own-label products. Inferring that goods without powerful branding are in danger of becoming commoditised, he told the audience: “Their customers see these FMCG brands as having no relevance to them.”

Daglish said data is brilliant and helps us track and, to some extent, predict human behaviour, but is also historical. “But automated data does not give us the ability to change human behaviour. My concern is that this is not a concern in the media industry.''

The drive to automated planning has led brands to very efficiently buy in the short-term while sacrificing their long-term future, believing their business will grow through more cheap and more efficient data but not more effective data.”

Daglish went on to question why ad-blocking is increasing, and what he called a hatred of advertising is growing against a background in which data platform evangelists claim to be delivering more relevant and more targeted media than ever before. “Folks, it is a lie - it is not working,” he claimed.

He then championed the role of humans who interpret data, saying they provide the essential illogical thoughts and the curiosity that deliver the insights that create change.

“It is curiosity that allows us to question and poke, and push through experiments and take risks. The failures may be more spectacular but success is much more likely.''

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“With the maturing of the Internet and all things digital, we are in danger of being dominated by the short-term. The siren of immediate sales is driving media consideration more than the idea of creating and changing demand. This type of planning will lead to longer-term decline both in relevance for brands and to their audiences and ultimately their profitability.”

Simon Daglish , Deputy MD, Commercial, ITV