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  • Pam Zucker

Is The Upfront Ready for Change Or Is It All Talk


It's that time of year where everyone is talking about the Upfronts and how this year is ripe for change. Forgive me if I am not a believer. I've heard the same chant for years. The past year's circumstances should make this the right time for change - but change only happens when goals are aligned. And I still do not see aligned goals between marketers, media, and agencies. Misalignment of goals means different agendas and a lack of transparency.

I see three shared goals that need to be agreed to before real change can happen.

1) Everyone must believe in the philosophy of "Follow the Consumer" -no matter what platform they view their content on

2) Desire for "Better Ad Engagement." This will force changes in ad loads, creativity, ad models, and yes, each impression's cost. Better Ad Engagement is not a revenue-neutral goal, given how badly we have all messed this up in the desire to control cost - at the consumer's disenfranchisement.

3) We need a "Common Measuring Stick." Everyone needs to be able to evaluate success across platforms. The platforms that perform the best will win. The others will need to find ways to improve their offering (whether through cost, engagement, data, or infrastructure).

It's that simple and that hard.

Below see my visualization of the current reality - and why change won't happen with misaligned goals and then my hope for how we align goals and have each party achieve their desired outcome. For media: Highest yield. For marketers: Greatest ROI. And for Agencies: Client Retention.

If this happens then, everyone wins with innovation, better infrastructure, and growth.

Any agree or disagree?




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