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4 days, 209 events, 23,550 attendance, 113 seminars, 70 workshops and 185 hours of leadership content. We outline the three key discussion points from the 3rd annual Advertising Week Europe conference.
1. Women in Advertising
Salma Hayek started off the week by highlighting the issue surrounding women in advertising. She initially stated that women in their 50s have a greater means to buy things and argued that “…it is not like before [when marketing] people said ‘If you are 50 then you are finished”. Discussing the progress of women in advertising she said that “advertising is beginning to discover who we are and what we want [rather than] before when they were saying ‘this is what you are supposed to be’. We are empowering ourselves more and more and the consumer is changing advertising."
Yannick Bolloré, Chief Executive of Havas, followed this discussion point by questioning why aren’t there more women in senior advertising positions. He highlighted the issue saying that “I’m a huge believer in gender equality and it’s very important to be able to find a way to integrate more women into top management.” He continued by controversially saying that “the problem lies in the people themselves, they [women] are too cautious. Men are taking more risks…I think it’s important that women become confident about themselves.”
Havas Worldwide Global President, Kate Robertson ended the debate by stating that women are simply not paid enough and are not being promoted within the industry. With the recent success of International Women’s Day and discussions continuing at huge conferences like Advertising Week Europe it is forcing organisations to rethink their structure and gender balance.
Programmatic was inevitably a popular topic at Advertising Week. We have seen more and more brands toying with the idea and to some extent educating themselves in order to make the next step into programmatic advertising. Dawn Paine (former Universal Pictures VP) said that "as soon as the creative agencies start engaging in this space we can start seeing some contextual and relevant advertising examples that are creative, until then we are stuck in the same dialogue."
Programmatic still has a way to go, but our previous blog posts (Programmatic: Evolution or Revolution) demonstrates that consumer behaviour are changing and the advertising industry is slowly trying to catch up with media and technology evolving to keep up with today’s consumer. With multi-platform devices part of our everyday lives it is down to today’s marketers to blend creativity with technology and media to co-operate with each other.
3. Diversity & Authenticity
One of Advertising Week’s key topics was the fact that brands must embrace authenticity and diversity and make a global positive impact to consumers and our environment. Carat are a good example of an organisation putting this into action with its “Discover Media” initiative. The campaign incorporates 30 school children from Regent High, in Euston who were tasked with launching a new pair of Adidas trainers, with the help of Carat’s mentors. As part of the project the students were then allowed to pitch their ideas to a team of industry experts. Matthew Hook, MD at Carat argued that there is a skills gap and as an industry we need to understand the internet and technology.
Overall the industry insights and panel discussions have brought great knowledge and thought provoking debates for both marketers and experts. With the European branch of Advertising Week only in its third year, we expect the conference to continue providing seminars, workshops and events with high profile members in aid of facilitating the advertising industry.