Agencies still held back by legacy cultures, says Facebook chief creative

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 7 March 2017

Legacy cultures and the dated systems of agency holding groups that have been around for decades can hinder the startup culture needed to succeed in an ecosystem with lapsing attention, according to Facebook.

Speaking to AdNews, Facebook chief creative officer Mark D'Arcy admits the digital giant doesn’t carry the creative clout of the WPP and Omnicoms, rather the ability to help traditional networks win at their own game. However he says the networks themselves have got some changing to do.

“An ad suffers by the direct number of people who have to approve it,” he says.

“These legacy systems and cultures can be restraining when you want to move fast, experiment and learn quickly. If you don’t have a system that is designed to test new ideas because of an approval process, the missed opportunity is speed.”

Mark D'ArcyMark D'Arcy

D'Arcy also suggested that CMOs today need to upskill to meet the demands of the digital age.

"Why aren’t more CMOs approving creative on a mobile phone? If leaders are doing the same thing they were doing three years ago, but we know there has been a huge shift in consumer attention, why are the processes the same?,” he questioned.

"The craft skills marketers have had for decades need to evolve to the platform we use now.

“If you’ve got an advertising industry that was designed to build on platforms like TV and out-of-home, there are aspects of that history that are helpful and other bits we have to build on.”

He warns that a collaborative future is imperative to a successful ecosystem, both with Facebook but with other agencies clients work with.

“One of the tough things for agencies is that clients have multiple people they talk to simultaneously. It makes it hard for anyone to have ownership of who is transforming the brand's culture.

“A lot of what we do at Facebook is bringing together the different agencies and groups that work with a client.”

Last week, D'Arcy expressed concern that mobile advertising has still not caught up with the amount of time people are spending on the platform.

“If you think of the shift in human attention and the massive move to mobile, if you aren’t changing your marketing to think mobile-first, then you are missing a huge opportunity and it will cost you.

Read more here.

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