MCN CEO Anthony Fitzgerald’s plan to keep TV king: Overhaul ratings, play fewer ads

‘Lots of other mediums work but TV remains the king’

MCN chief executive Anthony Fitzgerald was among the speakers at the Future of TV Advertising Forum in Sydney yesterday.

“Lots of other mediums work but TV remains the king,” Fitzgerald told delegates.

“If we allow the television advertising experience to wither, through ambivalence or negligence, there will not be another of its equivalent power and stature that will deliver the impact and business growth that television has done for decades.

“We too easily forget that fact, in a sometimes misguided agenda for relentless innovation and disruption, and the daily hustle for cheaper commoditised pricing. To all our advertisers, the science is in.”

Fitzgerald then laid out what he called action points for the industry to act on to keep TV king.

“To take what TV already does brilliantly and make it better, I am convinced we must take action on these points as this will create the foundation to allow us not just to adapt to the changing market but to lead it, and prosper in the face of great change.

“I truly do remain as optimistic as ever that television, in all its forms, can prosper and grow if we just get out shit together and make a start.”

His action points included:

• We must reinvent and expand the television measurement system. It is simply no longer adequate in the digital age to be relying on a 5,000-person home panel and a bunch of demos to trade on.

• We need to also finally recognise and agree that demographics are, for the most part, losing relevance. The reality is that the role of age and gender as the currency authority for media value is declining rapidly.

• We must surprise and delight the TV viewer, we must look to create a better viewer experience through reduced interruption and by extension create a better advertising experience.

Simply put, that means fewer ads in breaks and fewer ad breaks per program to keep people inside advertising-supported environments and improve the viewer experience.

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