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Google’s John Merrifield: advertising is the price companies pay for being unoriginal

John MerrifieldThe only people who care about advertising are ad people, Google Asia’s creative chief said at an ad congress today.

Talking to delegates at the AdAsia event in Hanoi, John Merrifield, chief creative officer of Google Asia Pacific, also said that advertising is the price companies pay for being unoriginal.

He said: “No one cares about advertising. Nobody is sitting there waiting for advertising. The only people who care about advertising are those in the advertising business, and brand loyalty is largely a myth.”

“Advertising is the price companies pay for being unoriginal. When Apple launches a new product, does it advertise? No, it does not. It feeds off all the hype that leads up to the launch,”  said Merrifield, who joined Google after a long career in advertising, latterly with TBWA.

Merrifield also suggested that the ad industry is slow to change.

“In September, Google turned 15 years old. In that time the company has continually undergone radical structural changes. But in the time since Mad Men, the 1950’s, advertising agencies are only 10 per cent different to how they are now.”

But there are “seismic changes” on the horizon for the ad world, he said.

“The Omnicom Publicis merger was the final nail in the coffin for the way things were. I don’t think we will see a merger that big again. The future belongs to the swift and nimble,” Merrifield said.

He also said that ad agencies needed to embrace digital more whole heartedly.

“If you’re still only dipping into the digital pool, your business probably won’t survive the next three to five years,” Merrifield said.

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