What are the biggest issues facing the media industry?

This post was updated on October 24, 2018 to reflect the industry changes that have occurred since.

Later in the year of this post, the topic of media transparency became a major issue following the revelations from MediaCom in Australia of the existence of Media Value Banks and then the following year, the Former CEO of MediaCom in the USA, Jon Mandel revealed the extent of secret media kickback and commissions. We track the evolution of this slow motion train wreck here.


Much of the media industry appears more interested in deciding who is the best agency /sales team /advertiser with an endless succession of award shows, presentations and conferences designed to recognise the various players.

But the industry continues to face the challenges and issues driven by technology, the economy and the increased complexity of the category.

Last year Denise Shrivell at MediaScope and I organised “The State of The Media Industry” survey to garner the opinions of all parties including advertisers, media agencies and media owners, including their sales teams in order to prioritise the issues and solutions. The results were discussed at Mumbrella360 last year.

This year it is time to have your say again.


What are the big issues facing the industry?

The “State of the Media” survey gives you a chance to have a say and help prioritise issues such as:

  • Audience Measurement ­ methodologies & standardisation of individual & multi media channel planning
  • Tracking ROI & attribution across media channels ­ proving effectiveness of media campaign activity
  • Recruitment & retention ­- finding, training & retaining quality, relevant people
  • Keeping up to date­ with constantly evolving market trends, initiatives & opportunities
  • Business costs ­ of continually evolving marketing technology & media research
  • Managing an increasingly diverse & siloed agency roster
  • Fragmenting market & increased competition  from other media & channels ie social, owned & earned media
  • Procurement & agency margins -­ finding an effective & sustainable business model
  • Disconnect & mis-communication ­ between client, agency & media
  • Limited scopefor outside the square & new opportunities

Start having your say on the issues facing the media industry here.

What is the industry talking about?

These topics have been headlines in the industry press, not just in Australia, but around the globe, including:

  1. What your media agency might not be telling you – Mumbrella
  2. World Federation of Advertisers says lack of transparency in programmatic trading remains “main barrier” to brand uptake – The Drum
  3. Media Industry Confessions – Digiday
  4. Media trading’s own Libor scandal is coming – MediaWeek
  5. Have media rebates and kick-backs killed media neutral planning? – Mumbrella
  6. WFA Develops First Global Media Transparency Index – MediaPost
  7. Why it’s become very difficult to get a poor media audit review – let alone a bad one – MediaWeek
  8. Is the Government Procurement Service review fit for purpose? – Campaign
  9. Can Agencies Solve The Talent Problem? – Digiday
  10. How big data will transform media agencies – Mumbrella

Add your voice to the “State of the Media” survey here.

Plus for every problem there is a solution

But it is not just focused on the issues and problems. The “State of the Media” survey also provides solutions and asks you to add your solutions to the conversation. Some of the proposed solutions include:

  • Multi channel automated buying platform  to streamline & simplify media trading process
  • Multi channel planning & campaign measurement platform­ highlighting campaign results & channel/media attribution
  • Ongoing training, talent pool development & accreditation for required evolving skillsets
  • Industry-­wide structural change­ surrounding payment & agency remuneration models
  • Transparency surrounding agency revenue streams & publisher/media rebates
  • Consolidation of various media & advertising functions i.e. media and creative agencies merging
  • Developing in­-house capabilities -­ bringing media & advertising decisions in-­house
  • Amalgamation & alliances across key areas such as research & data collection
  • Industry driven regulation surrounding data ownership & consumer privacy
  • Incentives for innovation & first to market opportunities

Provide your thoughts on which solutions should be implemented first here.

Time to have your say on the media industry?

As an industry, we need to work through these issues together. The first step is achieving agreement on what the big issues are and to prioritise those that need to be addressed first. To achieve this we need people across the entire industry to have their say. This means if you are:

  • Marketer Using Media/Ad Agency
  • Direct Marketer/Small Business
  • Media Agency Management
  • Ad/Media Agency Planner/Strategist
  • Media Agency Buyer
  • Media Owner Management ­
  • Advertising Sales Specialist/Manager
  •  Product or Service involved in Advertising & Media
  •  Industry Organisation

Then it is time to have your say on “The State of the Media” here.

  • Please share this with your colleagues at work.
  • Please share this with your social network including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more.
  • Please email the survey link to any suitable colleagues.

Thank you. We look forward to sharing the results with you.


This was the final year of the survey because by the end of the year it was revealed MediaCom Australia had misled their clients regarding media performance reporting and subsequently revealed the existence of Media Value Banks and more that led to a global focus on Media Transparency, which we chronicle here.


You will find more information on achieving media transparency, value and performance here.