The rest of media is exploding. I’ve been arguing that the advertising business is next. And, in fact, the lack of courageous innovation in advertising is holding back development in the rest of media. For example, advertisers still feel safer buying print even though all the audience growth is online, which means they’re still paying too much for too little. It’s a painful syncopation.
But some in the ad biz get it and one who does is Rishad Tobaccowala of Publicis, who was the company’s chief innovation officer and today announced he’s starting a new company inside the ad giant to seek out and jumpstart innovation, to consult to advertisers and media companies, and even to invest — with advice capital — in startups like Brightcove. Here’s a Journal story about the company, called Denuo, and here’s a Rishad interview. (Full disclosures: I’ve become personal friends with one of the media thinkers in Rishad’s tank, Tom Tercek, and I’ve made blogboy spiels and business introductions for them — without financial gain, silly me.)
Here’s what I think this means from the outside: Rishad has always been a great thinker and a great talker but it’s not easy making change happen just by cajoling within an organization. You have to do it. I hope they manage to make change. We need it.