The Digital Love Affair is Over – PepsiCo Exec Has Tough Words for Agencies

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Agency Search Tips, Blog Posts

Brad Jakeman Suggests Shops Have Not Kept Pace With Change

We didn’t grab all the content of today’s AdAge article (10/16/2015), but we did include enough to share the comments. As I’ve remarked over the years and as Brad says – stop already! Ad agency models are breaking. Pre-roll ads are useless. Measurement models are outdated. The ad industry lacks diversity. And the phrase digital marketing should be dumped.

Those statements were among the declarations made Wednesday by PepsiCo exec Brad Jakeman in a fiery, truth-telling presentation at the Association of National Advertising’s annual “Masters of Marketing” conference in Orlando, Fla. Mr. Jakeman — who is president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group — went so far as to suggest that even the phrase “advertising” should go by the wayside. He did so before 2,700 marketing and agency professionals at an event put on by an association that has the word advertising in its name. “Can we stop using the term advertising, which is based on this model of polluting [content],” he said. Mr. Jakeman also ripped the industry’s lack of diversity. “I am sick and tired as a client of sitting in agency meetings with a whole bunch of white straight males talking to me about how we are going to sell our brands that are bought 85% by women,” he said. “Innovation and disruption does not come from homogeneous groups of people.”

Harley-Davidson Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richer — who delivered a late morning presentation — responded to a question about agencies by pointing out that the motorcycle marketer works with a lot of shops and takes a “boutique” approach. “We have not had a lead agency in about five years,” he said. “Clients must take more responsibility for creativity. It’s not the kind of thing that you should offshore.”

Mr. Jakeman called digital marketing the “most ridiculous term I’ve ever heard.” He added: “There is no such thing as digital marketing. There is marketing — most of which happens to be digital.” He urged marketers to create digital cultures, not digital departments. “We ‘ghettoize’ digital as though it’s the life raft tethered to the big ocean liner. And we have to move on from that.”

So he turned to the example set by Caitlyn Jenner, praising the way she “managed her transition … figuratively and literally as a brand.” The process — from the Diane Sawyer interview to the Vanity Fair cover — was thought-provoking, authentic and profound, he said. “This was something that the world was talking about, and the world has continued to talk about.” Then he posed a question to his fellow marketers: “Have we done anything with our brands that is in any way as remarkable as the way Caitlin Jenner, and that phenomenon, has been managed?”

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