An interesting article in the current print edition of ‘Marketing’ piqued my interest this evening. The article was covering a marketing round table discussion between ad agencies, clients and a media owner. The topic of discussion was ‘Are advertisers more inclined to establish direct working relationships with media owners and should media owners by pass agencies in the process? Controversial but interesting topic isn’t it? Of course one can immediately sense a slight conflict of interest in this way of working which in the recent past has gained momentum and with the onset of the online media growth, the partnership between the media owners and clients has even grown stronger. In my personal opinion having been there on the client side i understand why media owners would try and establish relationships with clients. Many media owners are afraid that agencies may not properly understand and represent their value proposition well to the clients. This occur due to various reasons and it could span from a genuine lack of knowledge of the media to special deals they may have with other rival media owners. So the media owners feel the need to properly represent themselves and their products to the client. But no one should have the illusion that media owners can take the place of agencies and completely bypass them. As long as the agency guarantees results for the campaign most of the clients will not question media choice beyond a certain point. Also another point to note is that most campaigns have multiple media vehicles and putting the media plan all together is best done by agencies especially when clients lacks those expertise. More dialogue and transparency between media owners and agencies will make things smoother, where in they both complement each other rather than competing with each other. A good practice would be if media owners could give an heads up to he agencies when they meeting and pitching to their clients that would go a long way in creating an atmosphere of trust and collaboration.