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Arif Durrani, editor, Media Week

 

Only one thing is certain in 2015: Hazlitt will be missed

Amid all the leadership changes in the media this year, the one no-one saw coming was last week's abrupt exit of the effervescent Fru Hazlitt from ITV.

 

Why Lewis Hamilton is prepared for agency life

It's awkward question time: What do Lewis Hamilton, President Obama and 1.3 per cent of the UK's advertising and media agency workforce have in common?

 

As the business changes, know what you stand for

Waking up to Bob Geldof asking for money, again, has made me a tad nostalgic this week, and highlighted the power that comes from having a clear mission.

 

The media story behind the festive magic of Monty

Who would have thought we'd all be talking about the arrival of a flightless bird native to Antarctica in the run-up to Christmas 2014?

 

TV remains top dog for brands going into 2015

As 2014 hurtles towards its finale, all advertising data points to a year of two halves - part-fuelled, aptly enough, by football.

 

Why the days of Mail Online could well be numbered

At the start of the year, I was advised by a senior press leader to "keep my eyes on Northcliffe House" - words that have served me well in 2014.

 

With momentum and now money behind it, the Vice hype needs to be believed

The bristling excitement among the young masses milling into an East London church as dusk fell was palpable - it had all the hallmarks of a cult, but was in fact a clarion call for advertisers.

 

As the internet comes of age, it is up to agencies to really show their worth

The celebration this week of ten years of the Internet Advertising Bureau's Engage conference serves as a reminder of just how fast the digital media landscape has developed.

 

Twitter's popularity says as much about TV as it does about social media

Did you know that the main ITV channel generates more Tweets per month than BBC One and BBC Two combined? It's an intriguing finding that has stayed with me since it was shared at ITV's Upfronts event.

 

You don't need a filter to see the opportunities that lie beneath Instagram

Imagine launching a media network in the UK using only images, and with no indication about how much it costs to advertise or how many people you can reach. Welcome to the age of Instagram. The international roll-out of an ad service on Facebook s ...

 

Sometimes collaboration, not innovation, can be the key to winning campaigns

Media Week Awards entries used to be awash with companies claiming "media firsts"...

 

The loss of the Govt media buying business is sure to be queried by Sorrell

Few would have predicted it - and, be assured, some are still contesting it - but Sir Martin Sorrell's M4C has all but lost the Government's media buying business. This begs the question: how?

 

You're not normal, nor is the person you sit next to - and as for your boss...

You're not normal. It's something that is all too easy to forget - I do it myself on a regular basis. In a step-change from drinking and dining with media's finest, I was out with the "dads from school" last week.

 

Take a lead from Carat and recharge your batteries over the summer holidays

School's out for the summer - and so too, for once, is the sunshine. As teachers across the country pick themselves up and begin the healing process, spurred on no doubt by the promise that Michael Gove will not be returning to class in September, th...

 

News brands are keen to set the agenda, but it is a time for collaboration

"The NRS in its current form no longer serves newspaper needs." Not my words but those of Bob Hulks, the ex-independent chairman of the Newspaper Publishers Association Review Group, speaking at the Media Research Group conference back in 1998.

 

Pemsel's mission to bring back The Guardian's mojo is showing some success

There is one hell of a swagger around The Guardian's Kings Place this week, and it belongs, of course, to David Pemsel.

 

The new normal is now upon us, and the Financial Times is feeling confident

Take a look around you. For the first time in more than five years, this is the new normal for businesses in the UK.

 

How the excitement of a child won hearts and minds for media on the Croisette

Once again, this year's pulsating Cannes Lions festival defied any single definition. Many worlds collided along the Croisette, as tech meshed with celebrity, salesmen with creative and producers with data-crunchers.

 

As the World Cup shows, you don't have to root in the archives for TV gold

Do you remember the glory days of television, when advertisers could reach more than 15 million people in just one sitting? Well, those days are far from over, if World Cup trends play out as hoped.

 

We know that Britain loves radio, but it is winning the affections of brands too

Television is not the only traditional medium to have had a strong start to 2014. New figures this week confirm what many in the business have been alluding to for some time: radio is enjoying a renaissance.

 

Content: now everyone's talking about it, but what does it actually mean?

There is a reason why Eskimos have 100 different words for snow. Right now, the media industry can learn a lot from this.

 

Magazine publishers will be hoping the future is bright with Project Orange

It is hoped that this week's annual get-together of the magazine industry will be nothing short of revolutionary. More than 500 media executives are expected at the PPA's Reinvented event: a name designed to convey the change that has already taken p...

 

Whether viewing, reading or surfing, Britain's media addicts can't get enough

There was a fantastic amount of tub-thumping going on at Media360 last week, with many clearly feeling reinvigorated amid what Claire Enders dubbed our "wonderful economic revival".

 

Desmond proves TV still offers rich returns for the few remaining risk-takers

Last week's sale of Channel 5 to Viacom for £450 million represents a fantastic return for Northern & Shell's owner, Richard Desmond, who acquired the broadcaster for £103.5 million four years earlier.

 

Twitter's strategic hire is a reminder of the constant evolution in media land

This week's column was inspired by Nigel Clarkson, the former outdoor trailblazer now leading the mobile ad space as the commercial director of Weve.

 

Sorrell sparks a rare talk about the benefits of a more diverse workforce

Something unexpected happened at Newsworks' Shift event last week. And it was not the news that John Lewis spends twice as much on press ads than it does on TV.

 

Nuts will soon be taken off the shelves but is already well past its sell-by date

Cast your mind back to January 2004. It was raining. Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out was blasting from the radio, fears were mounting that Athens would not be ready in time for the summer Olympics and a new era for British magazines was heralded with t...

 

Adland's Maths Men take centre stage, but success does not always add up

Some of you may have noticed: Advertising Week Europe has just hit London town. The four-day industry event bristled with energy and was far better organised in its second year - although still absolute chaos, of course.

 

Cast aside your cynicism and admire the audacity of Evgeny Lebedev's aim

We're in the final countdown to the launch of London Live, and I'm unashamedly banging the drum.

 

Twitter's potential is just beginning to be realised as a way to tap into our lives

What do you think is the peak time for jogging in the UK? Saturday morning, perhaps, when people have more personal time. Maybe Sunday afternoons?

 

MEC's decision to appoint co-CEOs suggests a safe choice, but is it inspired?

I recently asked an Omnicom leader: if they could work at any other agency, which would they pick? "One of the more progressive ones," I was told. "One that is culture-based and stands for something." Interestingly, the only agency cited outside of t...

 

The Brits' successful flop highlights the complex social media landscape

In a week dominated by Facebook's staggering acquisition of WhatsApp, and the clash of tech and mobile developments at the Mobile World Congress, social and mobile are top of mind.

 

In an age of shifting sands, Guardian still knows the value of a good rebrand

The evolution of the media market is again top of mind this week, as the boardroom dynamo Anna Watkins returns to the spotlight in her new role at Guardian Labs. Lightning quick, personable and full of passion, Initiative's loss definitely feels like...

 

Great media companies have different strengths, but one common trait

If you could work for any media company in the UK, which one would you choose? It's a loaded question, revealing perceptions of an organisation's heritage, culture and future growth prospects.

 

Native ads represent an exciting new opportunity for savvy media agencies

Before Christmas, MailOnline, the world's biggest newspaper site, quietly began experimenting with native advertising. Its initial trial was with Marks & Spencer, but the publisher has been tight-lipped about the details.

 

The humble bus remains one of the best ways to reach an urban audience

Forget the Year of the Horse - London's mayor, Boris Johnson, this week declared 2014 to be the "Year of the Bus" in the capital. A clear threat in the glamour stakes to Rio's World Cup.

 

Let's hope the govt media review is less political - it's a matter of life and death

Deep breath - here we go again. The Government is in the precursory stages of the statutory review for its media buying requirements. Much has changed since the consolidation of its departmental ad budgets into Group M's purpose-built M4C in 2010.

 

Strap yourself in, press industry: this year is going to be one hell of a ride

And we're off, soon to be galloping into the Year of the Horse. Welcome to 2014. It's expected to be a tempestuous 12 months by all accounts, and the opening few days have lived up to the billing.

 

So much for an Olympic hangover - 2013 has been another momentous year

By any measure, 2013 has failed to meet expectations. Following the once-in-a-lifetime highs of London 2012, this was tipped to be a rather uneventful 12 months.

 

Walker Media becoming part of Publicis Groupe? You couldn't make it up

Much has been written already about Publicis Groupe's acquisition of Walker Media this week but, as is so often the way, many of those first drafts will require a rewrite.

 

Campaign Media Awards offer welcome recognition for ambitious masochists

It was in October 2009 when I answered the phone to Daren Rubins. The conversation started pleasantly enough, but soon descended. MEC had just been awarded Media Week's Agency of the Year, and the then managing director of PHD, raw with ambition and ...

 

Innovative C4 hoping its diversity can make up the numbers for advertisers

Am I the only person in the world who doesn't find Alan Carr funny? Apparently so. I've asked around and everyone seems to love him. So it was only me who found the last hour of Channel 4's upfronts event last week excruciatingly painful.

 

ZenithOptimedia's party is tainted by deep-rooted problems at UK operation

Last week's 25-year celebrations of the pioneering agency ZenithOptimedia should have been an industry high-water mark, so why did it feel more like a washout?

 

The stories behind the winners during this year's industry awards season

One of the true highlights of my job is the bird's-eye view I get of the UK's media landscape. This has come into acute focus over the past few weeks, which have been dominated by awards judging.

 

ITV deserves credit for not bowing to self-appointed arbiters of online ads

One of the biggest problems with advertising on Facebook, according to Lord Rothermere, the svelte chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust, is that he only ever sees ads about how to tone his abs.

 

When it comes to digital ads, everyone wants to go native

Consensus is building that the best way to advertise on the internet is to not advertise at all. At least, not as we know it.

 

As Westminster rails against the Daily Mail, advertisers' silence speaks volumes

Don't you just love the Daily Mail? It's not something you always hear on London's media circuit, but the popularity of Lord Rothermere's 117-year-old news brand is irrefutable.

 

The focus on Price is the strongest sign yet that LinkedIn means business

Before the frenetic activity of Advertising Week had even begun, LinkedIn was making waves in New York after a senior, local hire provided the strongest indication yet about its ambitions in the media space.

 

Commercial radio reaches the Big Four-O on a high, despite some challenges

So, happy birthday, commercial radio, 40 years old next week. The sector has come a long way since springing to life on ships anchored just outside British waters in the 60s to circumvent record companies and the BBC.

 

Premier Foods' half-baked turnaround strategy falls flat as SMG refuses to bite

In many respects, the less-than-amicable divorce of Premier Foods and Starcom MediaVest Group after seven years is the story of our times.

 
 

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