The upfront – where the men are men and the shrimp are terrified

It’s that week again. When I arrived in the USA in 2005 the upfronts seemed like an anachronism; I rashly described them as a conspiracy of the damned based on the decline in TV audiences and the inverse increase in the quality of the associated presentations and parties.

In a somewhat counter cyclical way I now see their importance. As the supply of premium inventory falls and the integration and online extension opportunities rise it is more important than ever to secure options over positions with the potential to create market advantage, and to take a long view of what is required to achieve marketing goals.

Of course the real trick is to do this while accurately predicting supply and demand across the trading period. The truth of course is that despite the overall decline in TV there remains no competitive media that can induce as significant and rapid shifts in attitude and awareness.

At GroupM our ship is piloted by Captain Scanzoni and First Mate Schwartz. That is a very good thing. Good luck chaps.

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