By Cary Hatch

Advertising is not dead, but somewhere between “whistling through the graveyard” and adapting to be more useful to consumers and reaching them by being more meaningful. This seems to be one of the over-arching conclusions of Ken Auletta’s 12th book; “Frenemies”. (His previous book, “Googled, The End of the World As We Know It”, was released in 2009)

In an industry threatened by plate-shifting land masses as former “friends” turn into competitors – clients taking advertising in-house (we see how well that worked out for Pepsi), publishers, business consultancies – Auletta believes that the industry continues to provide a valuable role in helping consumers “find” products and services, as well as  advancing causes. Agencies and advertisers are doing so by employing a myriad of methodologies, including creative that aligns with cultural values that build brand affinity and data insights that deliver consumer convenience and utility.

Auletta examines the race for “scale” by the big five holding companies, the implications of GDPR in the wake of Cambridge Analytica , and the complicated path for agencies, media outlets and their leadership to remain relevant and viable.

Ad Age’s Editor, Brian Braiker, interviews Auletta in this Ad Age Ad Lib podcast:


Cary Hatch is CEO of MDB Communications, a Capitol Communicator sponsor.

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