Mar 15th, 2017

'Fiefs' on the Internet Should End, says Tamara Ingram

Tamara Ingram Large

Digital advertising has been gaining more and more space in advertisers’ budgets. However, along with this increase, there has been growing criticism of the operation model of companies, like Facebook and Google, on whose platforms the advertising is displayed.

The central debate revolves around what is conventionally called "walled gardens" or the "fiefs," which are created by these companies. This means they give preference to tools that they themselves develop when selling, buying, or managing advertising, and while limiting or restricting the use of third-party systems. "The fief model will have to cease to exist, the clients [advertisers] are already requesting that," says Tamara Ingram, CEO of JWT,  part of WPP.

Last month, Facebook and Google announced that they will be taking measures that aim to make their advertising systems more transparent by opening their metrics for external auditing and allowing the use of third-party tools.

Since taking office, Tamara has put diversity on the agenda, aiming to make JWT's teams around the world represent the characteristics of the local population in terms of gender, ethnicity, creed, age, education, etc. "We need to hire from outside the most famous colleges and universities to achieve this representation," she says. According to the executive, this reinforces the company's strategy to diversify its areas of operation, since it brings new world views and perspectives.

With [more than] 10,000 employees, JWT has estimated revenue around $1.5 billion. In a difficult scenario for the global advertising market, with budget reductions, Tamara says the main objective is to maintain a growth pace that exceeds the GDP growth. "If you can do this, it means you are growing." According to Tamara, JWT’s fifth largest operation in the world, Brazil, is testament to  this because of its integration between traditional and digital media operations. According to Ezra Geld, JWT Brazil’s president, the revenue there is already split between the two models.

According to Tamara's evaluation, creativity will once again have a key role in the advertising world – with data becoming the fundamental tool for the creation of campaigns. "Brands will have to present a meaning, a purpose and have attitudes that correspond with this stance," she says.

This is a translated excerpt from a March 6 piece featured in Valor Economico.

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