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Ad exec Karen Blackett on how agencies can overcome short-termism from clients

Lara O'Reilly
Executive Producer

Advertising executives often complain that clients can be too focused on the short-term in their approach, demanding instant results from campaigns and not investing in their brands for the long-haul.

But with the ad industry now knowing more than it ever did about the way in which advertising works, data is key to turning around this sort of thinking, WPP UK country manager and MediaCom chairwoman Karen Blackett OBE told Yahoo Finance UK’s Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded show.

“There is enough data and evidence that shows if you continue to think about your long-term growth and long-term brand health, when you come out of a difficult period ... whether that’s the Brexit climate, whether that’s the leadership challenge, whatever it may be — if you keep thinking about your long-term health you come out and you grow market share,” Blackett said.

The ad industry itself faces challenges, from the shift to digital and new privacy regulations, to penny-pinching clients and a raft of new competitors entering the sector. Blackett said such disruption is what makes the ad industry dynamic.

“There are constant changes — it’s not boring in this industry at all — and part of it’s about really leaning into all those areas that are causing disruption because if you think that’s the fuel for creativity and the fuel for coming up with better ... mechanisms for doing things and actually really evolving,” Blackett said.

“So I love the constant disruption because I think that’s what makes us better as an industry.”

Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded explores the stories of some of the most inspirational women across business, tech, and academia. Catch up on all the latest episodes here.