At this year’s Golf & Spa Day for senior clients and media owners, Kat Bozicevich, Managing Director MG OMD, hosted a panel discussion with a bit of a twist: a debate which was filled with passion, fun and fire, that was immensely engaging for us agency folk and our clients.

The stimulus for the contested topic was a quote from Mark Ritson who said, “We are in a golden age of advertising effectiveness; we’ve never known more about it than we know right now.” Are we REALLY in a golden age of ad effectiveness?

Arguing “for” was Clare Kendrick, Head of Effectiveness at MG OMD, who was joined by Laurence Green, The IPA’s Director of Effectiveness. Arguing “against” was Rob Beevers, Chief Analytics Officer at MG OMD and Mark Evans (who holds too many titles to mention) but mainly advisor, trustee and NED. Surely this was to be the most important debate held over the next couple of weeks!


Pre-debate poll vote:

  • For: 60%
  • Against: 40%


Laurence’s opening argument spoke about how the great advances in tech, speed and accuracy coupled with the astonishing body of data available to us, means that we have never known more about how brands grow and how advertising works (and are learning at a rate that far outstrips any period in advertising history). Moreso, these advances have led to an increasing number of clients embracing effectiveness and leaving the era of inspired guesswork in the rearview mirror.

Mark countered that very few clients draw on effectiveness and, as a result, marketing is still seen as a cost, with the majority of CMOs not asserting commercial credibility amongst their C-suite colleagues. He argued that claims of “The Golden Age” were a false dawn because, despite advances making it possible to prove marketing effectiveness, not enough people are doing it and even fewer are managing their business stakeholders to demonstrate the short and long-term effect of spend.

Up next was Clare “Kendo” Kendrick who spoke ardently about the need for a ‘single source of truth’, where learnings are backed up by collaboration across the industry. Whilst she conceded that there are still a lot of improvements to be made and we were far from the top of the effectiveness peak, but nevertheless we were truly at the start of a golden age.

Last to speak was Rob, who claimed that effectiveness was about asking simple questions, which have complex answers – something which many haven’t yet worked out how to do. Instead, it is more common to cherry-pick proxy metrics that tell the story we want to say, undermining credibility.

While they paused for breath, questions from the audience prompted further intense debate around creativity, measuring “magic”, managing the “business” of effectiveness as it pertains to conflicts of interest and lastly, whether effectiveness could be considered a science at all.


Post-debate poll vote:

  • For: 17%
  • Against: 83%


WHAT A DEBATE! And what was patently clear was the one thing that united the four speakers on both sides of the debate: passion. Passion for their disciplines, passion for media and advertising, and a passion to drive effectiveness forward for the industry and our clients.

Read to learn how MG OMD celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week in 2024

Next project