Advertising Week 2014: The Content Conundrum


It’s the word of 2014. Cropping up everywhere and causing all kinds of mischief. But what exactly is ‘content’? And who is best placed to create it? In Mindshare’s open-floor debate they made the somewhat provocative statement that content creation should be in the hands of media agencies…

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As a dissenting crowd established, there are a multitude of flaws; lack of editorial experience, distance from the distance from the sales message, resource… Good content is time consuming. Think about it, publishing houses and programme makers dedicate all their hours to that. Solely that. There’s a risk that if media agencies take the reins, they could end up Jack of all trades, master of none.

So what about the client itself? It really depends how far they’re able to measure what makes great content. It’s not necessarily about heaps of social media, or reams of bad long-hand copy. It’s about constantly re-evaluating what we’re creating, and where we’re putting it, and having the distance to do so. It’s also about relinquishing an element of control over any conversation sparked as a result of your content. It seems there’s a question mark over whether the  client is really the one for the job.

So what about a new, specialist type of agency? A rival for the likes of Seven and Redwood? Perhaps surprisingly, the overwhelming majority are in favour. The fact is, (as media owners present were all too keen to point out), advertising will always fundamentally be about disruption, content about engagement and entertainment. What suits one can be entirely wrong for the other. So whether it’s specialist divisions within existing agencies, or an entirely new birth of business altogether, as content continues to change modern media, we are guaranteed to see new faces charged with its creation.