Why did you choose LA?
It was an easy decision from both a work and personal perspective. On the one hand, our technical head office is in Santa Monica, so it made sense to be located in the engine room. On the other, the climate is similar to my native Sydney. Jogging on the boardwalk slightly outweighed jogging along the Thames - just.
What is the media environment like?
The pace is frantic throughout the US. When you're in a client meeting, you need to be focused and add value from the beginning. Most people are overworked and nobody has time for fluff.
How proactive are media agencies?
You'll find a very similar mix of agencies around the world. A percentage will be driven by volume and the others want to experiment and lead their clients into new territories and experiences.
Where are they at in terms of digital?
The big difference is the amount of branded video content bought by advertisers. The penny is slowly dropping around the world about how powerful online video is, but the US is definitely leading the charge. That said, I still believe UK agencies are more progressive in digital planning and communications strategies than the rest of the world.
What's the social scene like?
There is so much on offer it can be overwhelming. Let me get back to you in six months.
What are the main differences in media?
Volume, research and consumer insights. When 123 million households are online searching, blogging, reading and watching video, it's easier to pick trends, test and learn. The US has the volume and big budgets required to engage third-party research.
One thing we can learn from Los Angeles
Personalisation and customer service. Everyone is trained to make the customer experience positive and memorable.
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