This year has seen not only the recovery of media spends but also a number of shifts in the media environment.
Firstly there are signs that the government is no longer happy to let the advertising industry be self-regulated as it has been in the past.
I would expect increasing levels of guidance with children’s and food advertising at the very least; cars will soon follow.
A second change has been the communications planning offering that was initially pioneered by specialists such as Naked has become widely accepted and is now a part of the offering of most media agencies.
The benefits of this route have been spotted by some media owners who, where able, are offering fully rounded solutions which involve combinations of their media and other resources.
Online media has certainly come of age in 2004 and moved into mainstream schedules. From now on it’s hard to imagine web activity not being considered for most schedules.
Similarly to communications planning, this is now an integrated offer of most agencies and handled by in-house teams.
It would be remiss to omit the prominence of ROI in clients thinking but I’m running out of words.
Finally, and I don’t think this has just been our experience, but more clients are asking for a centralization of more services.
This has introduced a change in the role of the media specialists from solely media planning and buying to coordinator and business partner.
As for 2005, in the words of The Who, I think it’s going to be a good year.