IPA Online Media Owner Survey: Specific top, Microsoft bottom

The latest IPA Online Media Owner Survey, topped again by Specific Media, reveals several cross-media companies have raised their game, while service levels decline dramatically at Microsoft Advertising.

Specific Media: tops IPA Online Media Owner Survey
Specific Media: tops IPA Online Media Owner Survey

Specific Media scored 78% for the key metric – "my overall experience of dealing with this supplier is a good one" –  based on responses from a judging panel of 228 individuals from media agencies and digital specialists in February.

Specific has led the rankings for three years, but there was no such consistency at Microsoft Advertising, which has fallen from third in the Spring 2010 survey to last, out of 21 media owners, in the Spring 2011 survey.

The survey was conducted in the month after Microsoft Advertising's commercial director Chris Maples left his role with immediate effect to spend more time with his family. Maples joined Spotify this week as its UK managing director. Microsoft was also hit by the defection of its vice-president of ad sales, Carolyn Everson, to Facebook in February.

A Microsoft spokesman, reacting to the IPA survey, said the company has just completed its own customer satisfaction survey and would evaluate both sets of results. He said the company was "committed to improving customer experience", pointing to the appointment of Ravleen Beeston as its new head of account services group.

My overall experience of dealing with this supplier is a good one
Spring 2011

% agree strongly/agree

While Microsoft and Adconion's scores deteriorated the most since the autumn survey, the four companies that showed the most improvement were cross-media owners – Haymarket, The Guardian, ITV.com and IPC Media.

IPC, which came fourth in the rankings after Specific, Ad2One, Vibrant Media, registered an improvement in scores across all 14 criteria from an already high base.

ITV.com also improved in all 14 criteria, though from a low base.

Such improvement was not a universal trend, as News International (which scored top on quality of responses to briefs and creativity), Channel 4 and Sky Digital Media scored lower this time round.

My overall experience of dealing with this supplier is a good one
Spring 2011 vs Autumn 2010

% points change

Nigel Gwilliam, digital consultant at the IPA, said: "We're delighted to see the ongoing improvements by cross media companies, this can only be attributed to greater commitment to servicing agencies."

Jason Dormieux, managing partner at MEC Interaction, said: "Last year was a turbulent time for Microsoft so it’s not unusual to see that they have moved backwards, however the sheer scale of the drop is surprising. I think that if you speak to the team at Microsoft they are fully aware of what they need to put right and I’m confident that they will.

"One of the key charts that I also look out for is the ‘Media owner delivers innovative, creative solutions’ and it’s clear that the more pure-play digital media owners of Microsoft, AOL and Adconium need to work harder at ensuring that their teams are making the most of the opportunities that they to offer clients and agencies alike."

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