What’s the future of the advertising industry? If you read Campaign this week, it’s preditors… that’s a hybrid word of production and editors… not a new phenomenon but a new word to describe the freelance teams that are cutting out the ad agencies and getting client commissions directly… cutting out a raft of cost.

My new best friends Stef and Tom at Big Al’s Creative Emporium are one such squad.

Despite getting their name in lights in Campaign, they are searching for the Next Big Thing. My view this week is that they are in a very good place because the internet is becoming more like TV, so there will be scope for good advertising again (aka Drumming Gorillas and the like… stories, emotion, expansive time and decent budgets). And, it ought to go to these preditors because they are senior, fast and efficient.

Tom gave me his copy of Black Swan because he’s been too busy to read it. Both of them were well read on this week’s Sunday Times, mind – because they quoted it back to me at every turn. Murdoch is still a big thing!

Tom had read Flip, a book about turning things on their head. And doing it fast. Or, so I read from the Amazon review… what hope me reading Black Swan when I can’t even read Flip.

So, where I see extensive turbulence ahead for many many businesses – with disruption forcing them to completely transform because of pervasive digital… maybe advertising is going to get let off, or has somehow managed to get itself a bye into the Web 2 round?

Yes, creative is safe. But, in my view it needs to bolt on the analytics if it’s going to be the most powerful.

Enter Michael Ross, who runs Ecommera for Tom Hunter and Jon Asgeir, the entrpreneurs of the High Street… that’s Wyevale Garden Centres, Baugur (Karen Millen, Whistles, Oasis, Hamleys, House of Fraser blah, blah). Ecommera is running e-com platforms for stores so they can do their online retailing better. Sounds like a good place to be. They’ve got 40 people working in the business so are surely doing something right – and with big patrons, they are going to become a real gateway to business for the Bricks & Mortar folk.

Michael is a busy man – director of GlassesDirect, WarehouseExpress, Spreadshirt and adviser to Baugur, Pentland, EMI. He’s pondering writing a book on the need for boardrooms to understand more about the internet… it’s the fourth time in a week that I’ve advised folk to start their own blog to get their name out.

Michael, Tom, Stef… do you read me?



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