This week the CEO of MDC Media Partners, Steven J. Farella, had come to visit us at St. John’s to discuss the topic: Current Media Landscape; specifically from his perspective over the past 40 years.  He also talked about some trends and tips on how to be successful in media and advertising.

At the beginning of the presentation, Farella described that the golden years of advertising occurred in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. This is before everything went digital and creativity brought in money, but as Farella stated during his presentation: to be successful today in media and advertising, it is not just about being creative anymore, what’s more important is being able to understand data.

The focus of his presentation was primarily a journey through his career starting with his time with Benton & Bowles. Back then, according to Farella, to work in the competitive field of advertising , you were most likely a graduate from an esteemed university such as Yale or Harvard, but as he also stated, it is not only your experience in the field that will help you in your career, but luck as well, and that is what helped Farella land a job at Benton & Bowles. Because of his background in the field he was put in the media department, which back then was the least important department in these large companies. He also stayed there for a long period of time, 8 years to be exact. One way to advance in your career field is to stay put with a given company for a longer period of time and to grow, learn, and gain more experience in your field.

The next job Farella had was with Ammirati & Puris. At this point in time (1985-88), media started becoming more important to the ad agencies. What helped launch this company was their client, BMW. Farella explained that when you pitch business, you must pitch YOUR ideas.

Farella briefly speaks about what advertising is about: SALES; not creativity and not the target audience. He spoke about a colleague of his who did something that no one had done during that time which was, LISTEN TO THE CLIENT.

Farella spoke about the current media landscape and how everything is becoming digital if it hasn’t already. Everything social, messaging and media related is fuel for large holding companies such as his. Media buying is becoming increasingly automated and companies like Facebook and Google, dominate the online landscape.

This website describes the impact Facebook has had in media landscape over the past year.