Friday, 14 August 2015

What we're listening to. Roxy Music 'For your Pleasure'.

Okay, this is not for everyone.....but although it's more electronic, it still has a coolness that's great.

Their second album from 1973 (the band formed in 1971, ended 1982), it was their last with Brian Eno (he of producer fame and recognised as a bit of a genius). Forget more poppy singles later such as 'Avalon' and 'Dance Away', this is the band before they made it has more of what they wanted to do. 

Ferry wrote the songs and put his then girlfriend on the cover shot. Well you would, wouldn't you.

'Every dream home', 'Editions of you' are terrific but 'Do the Strand' is an absolute gem. 

In one way it was glam and punk/new wave, with Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay doing their costume bit 'bowie-esque' which in itself, created a stir at the time. Ferry's vocals are of course, smooth as silk (an English working class miner's son) but he dominated the band and therefore caused problems (in particular, the departure of Brian Eno).

It does take listening - but like all good albums should and then, it'll be worth it.

You can see them here from The Whistle Test at the time and get a sense of the glam with 'Do the strand' ("there's a new sensation, a fabulous creation...");

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Frank O'Hare Irish Ad legend, passes on.

Another Irish Advertising Legend, Frank O'Hare, has passed away.

Formerly of 'Arks', 'Arrow' and his own, 'The Creative Department', was a bit of a creative genius. His wife Joan, passed away many years ago suddenly too so now they're together.

One of the old school who "just got it" and both a demon and a pleasure to have worked with. 

Sad day Adland.

Ad Blocking. The story goes on.

(Graphic from

The Ad blocking story goes on.

A story in today's shows 18% of Irish users (676,000) blocking ads online and if that's's pretty extensive. The UK is a massive 20% and Germany 25%.

So that's a lot of people not seeing your banners or Ads placed in content. Pure video is of course, not part of it because they're not 'Ad blocked' as such.

The report compiled by Adobe in conjunction with PageFair, estimates the cost to Irish online publishers alone, at 100 million usd a year. Apple too are more and more allowing ad blocking extensions, as does Google Chrome, in their software (notably IOS9) and there are now 198 million (USA 45m) users globally, using ad blocking. Up +41% in a year.

Gaming is the most blocked category (27%) and of course it's more common in that 18-24 year old demographic. Mobile blocking is low but surely that will change we would think? In fact if ever you wanted to block an ad, it's on mobile mostly.

The problem here is for publishers obviously.

Users gain through higher download speeds and less intrusion but publishers lose revenue. And in this day of traditional media owners trying to replace traditional advertising falls with increases from their digital properties, it's a big issue. They're suffering already.

The solution? Native advertising, where promotions appear not as Ads, but as content. Sponsorship another of news pages or of reports or sections. 

But the Banner Ad as a format, was well passed its sell-by date anyway and this will only accelerate that demise.

You can read it all here;

Monday, 10 August 2015

Stock market hits out at Traditional TV. 37 Billion usd wiped off shares last week.

Following on from our blog of August 6th, about the decline in TV viewing as the audience moves to digital and the consequent shift in Ad budgets, it's now being reflected in TV companies stock.

Last week, 37 Billion usd was wiped from shares in Viacom, Time Warner, Fox, Walt Disney and 5 other major broadcasters. Viacom fell -8% on Wednesday and -14% Thursday being the worst hit.

Lower than expected quarterly earnings was one reason but underscoring it all, is the disruption being caused by YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix (63 million subscribers) and others, as they erode traditional TV subscriptions. It's now a structural issue in the ongoing shift away from live TV as well as, a shift to lower subscriptions online.

Of course, some large media organisations (such as RTE in Ireland) are immune from these market shifts as they receive state support (probably 200 million euro a year for RTE). One questions why and how long that will last?

In the same week, The New York Times reported lower than expected quarterly revenue too including a fall in print advertising sales. Again, the switch to digital platforms is the key here as their traditional revenue fell -12.8% but their digital revenue was up +14.2%. Up, but not by enough to compensate. Still, they brought in 148 million usd.

So the market is starting to question the future role of traditional media companies in the digital age. 

The corollary of that, is that you're likely to see a rise in the stock of digital media companies filling the gap. But definitively, for traditional TV specially, the game is up.