Dr Mumbo

Less is more with programmatic media

Charles Less at ATS Singapore

Charles Less at ATS Singapore

Dr Mumbo doesn’t think that Charles Less, the head of ad sales at pay-TV network A+E Networks Asia, deliberately used the word ‘problematic’ instead of ‘programmatic’ during his session on stage at ATS Singapore earlier this week.

It was surely an innocent slip of the tongue.

Although if it wasn’t, he may well have subconsciously been speaking on behalf of many media owners and clients on the subject.

“It is a different world,” Less said, going on to complain about a sector that is awash with three-letter acronyms. “Often I’m like, what does that mean again?” he said.

“We’re trying to get pay-TV inventory to be a little bit more on the problematic side. Er, I mean programmatic side,” he said, prompting sniggers from his audience at the Marina Mandarin Hotel.

“Spot on!” exclaimed Ciaran O’Kane, the panel moderator and CEO of Exchangewire, the organiser of ATS Singapore. “Problematic. Word of the day,” he said, later encouraging Less to repeat the offence.

Everyone has had the experience where the wrong word becomes stuck in the brain. And so it seemed that Less would repeatedly fall into the same trap, which he seemed to on two more occasions, once talking about the threat programmatic poses to pricing for publishers, and again when pondering when media buyers would get comfortable buying television problematically, or rather programmatically.

Slightly less subtle was Less’ take on the media research landscape in Indonesia. “Indonesia is a tough market, because the research there quite frankly is crap, right. It’s shit,” he told his audience.


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