MEC top strategist warns brands of growing Google and Facebook dominance in Asia

MEC chief strategy officer APAC, Raj Gupta, warned brands that a growing dominance of Google and Facebook in the region for ad spend would not be positive for brands.

Speaking at the InnovFest UnBound event in Singapore yesterday, Gupta, said: “The big trends in Asia is in mobile where Google and Facebook are growing more dominant in the market. I would be worried about that if I was an advertiser. The growth of programmatic will take care of the rest of the market,” he said.

His comments were around a global issue that has been bubbling for the industry for a while around how much data these dominant platforms share with people that use it. Many argue that Facebook and Google are ‘walled gardens’ because of a lack of transparency and openness of the data that they trade on.

He was later asked on the panel what he thought about the future of media agencies and responded by saying that media agencies weren’t threatened by other agencies but by businesses like publishers and ecommerce businesses moving further up the funnel.

“Media agencies are thriving to some degree but they are also under a huge number of threats. Digital agencies are more under threat as media agencies are becoming digital, although I’d say mobile rather than digital. Most digital agencies are working in a limited ecosystem.

Senior exec are now coming in from media owners as we disintermediate the walled gardens. It’s not just Google and Facebook, we can say that about BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) in China too. It’s about how people are coming to advising clients, from other end of the consumer journey to awareness, consideration and conversion. Ecommerce is working downstream to the other end. They can collect and use data they have on the purchase end to influence advertising. You can see it with Alibaba and what they are doing with the South China Morning Post, that’s worrying me more than what the digital agencies are doing today.”

Alibaba bought the South China Morning Post (pictured) paper, a Hong Kong-based English language newspaper which covers the China market, last year. It followed up the deal with a removal of the newspapers paywall earlier this year, claiming that it wants more people to learn about what’s going on in China from outside the market.

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