Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Mid-last-week we published the Letter From a Sofa by Ilija Brajković, CEO of the Zagreb-based digital agency Kontra. For the past six and a half years, since I’ve been the editor of the portal Media Marketing, I never felt such discomfort reading a text we published as I did while lying in my bed, devastated by the flu, reading the anti-text with the arrogant title “Can you sleep at night media buyers?” The text is in the form of those written by digital adolescents, directed against traditional media and media agencies. Death, death, death. Death to traditional media is the only way of communicating for them when they praise Digital, all the while stating countless falsehoods and lies for years – ever since digital appeared it seems. It has been at least ten, fifteen years, since the traditional media died according to their books. Since then, there is no print, no radio or television. But it seems no one has told that to us yet. True, I have never heard something like that from Danijel Ackerman (Degordian), Davor Runje (Drap), Saša Dimitrievski (Pristop) and other regional masters of digital, but mostly from greenhorns who have learned something here and there about digital, and started selling that smarts as if it’s be all end all truth.
I won’t drag it too long. Everything was said by the great Miloš Aleksić in his article Letter from the trenches: Hold your ground!, published on his blog Odvratajzing, which we are publishing today in its entirety.
I will only ask Ilija one question. Ilija, do you know what Facebook and Google are?
Facebook is the largest social network – the one for whose sake you and your peers have been killing traditional media for years now, claiming they are dead, or are just about to kick the bucket. That same Facebook for which you lead the charge in the trenches two years ago, with a budget of $620 million, was the biggest advertiser on British television! And do you know what Google is? It’s the tech giant and the world’s most popular search engine, whose regional director three years ago at the Branding Conference in Sarajevo in the same arrogant and brazen way pranced around the stage, telling the audience: “What, print, hasn’t anyone told you that the print has been dead for a long time! Television? My god, you don’t know that either!? It’s gone!” Well, that same Google, in the year when Facebook was the UK’s largest TV advertiser, took the third position on the list of the largest television advertisers in that same UK. Facebook first, Google third! Does this tell you anything about the strength of the media today Ilija? Could it be perhaps that you fucked up some of your math here? Ah yes, you didn’t do any math. You were simply told to write that text, and that text saw the light of day only thanks to my flu – otherwise, I would have never publish it.
In the messages you sent me during the weekend, after reading my reaction to your text on Facebook, you partly admitted your mistake. You pointed to your inexperience and lack of knowledge, etc., I won’t shame you any further. But if you’re aware that you are green and inexperienced, where do you get the courage to create and forecast trends? Where do you get the courage to envision what the media industry will look like in ten years? And where do you get the courage to “rip apart” media agencies in your text in such a rude manner. I often criticize media agencies for placing themselves fully in the service of greedy clients who would love nothing more than the media publishing their ads free of charge. That’s one side of the coin. But to say that media agencies don’t know how to do their job, that they are conservative and are deceiving their clients into inaccurate media plans, is, at the very least, nonsense. Any junior digital media planner in a serious media agency knows about digital more than you Ilija and the like.
And, finally, what is digital? It’s just another communication channel that, in combination with print, radio, television, outdoor and other media, provides optimal results.
As for the vision of how the media industry will look like in ten years, I will remind you of Sarajevan Saša Savić, MediaCom’s CEO, headquartered in New York, a man who was nominated for media personality of the year in the US. A couple of years ago, at the Weekend Media Festival in Rovinj, when asked how will the agencies look like in five to ten years, Saša replied: “To be honest, I don’t know. And even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you, because such information would be worth millions of dollars.” So you nonchalantly throw away millions of dollars which you do not have by sharing such huge information. Or you do it by principle: who knows who will be alive in ten years?
That’s not how you do things Ilija. Lower your binoculars a little. It will not go well this way. You seem to have started well a couple of years ago, but you’ve started dabbling seriously. It seems that you’ve been taken by the situation, and I have no idea what you imagine yourself to be. I’m not a haughty man, though this text could suggest otherwise. I react like this very rarely, and only when I’m sure I’m right. And now I am. I’m much more fond of praising than of scolding. I’m a happy man when I can say something positive. And I am humble then. I consider humility one of my virtues. When I visited the Business Cafe in Zagreb a few years ago, I noticed in the audience you, Damir Ciglar from Imago and a few friends. I was happy, I told you this publically, in my opening statements, and I thanked you for coming. You immediately turned your phone at me, took a photo and posted it on Facebook with the caption: “He couldn’t help mentioning me.”