Although it’s not being discussed much by the wider industry, AI will have a massive impact on media planning and buying says Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and executive director of S4 Capital. Speaking on stage at VideoWeek Cologne last month, Sorrell said that a lot of work currently done by human media planners and buyers will soon be done algorithmically (and indeed, some of it already is). Brands will also develop increasingly direct relationships with the major platforms, whose own tools will be able to do a lot of the leg work.
As a result, Sorrell said we’ll see “wholesale slaughter” in the total headcount of media planners and buyers employed across the agency holding groups. But though those who remain will be much more efficient thanks to those same AI tools, which much more data readily available at their fingertips.
In this interview filmed after the event, Sorrell further discusses the impacts of AI on media agencies, where he sees AI opportunities for his own companies, and why he believes broadcaster CEOs are in a very tough role.