Martin Sorrell has ‘opened doors with the C-suite’ for MediaMonks – claims founder Wesley ter Haar

The arrival of Martin Sorrell has meant MediaMonks is now taken much more seriously at the highest level in pitches and meetings, the company’s co-founder has told Mumbrella.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Adweek Asia conference in Tokyo last week, Wesley ter Haar – who is chief operating officer at MediaMonks and executive director at the S4 Capital holding company – said that the gravitas brought to the table by former WPP chief executive officer Sorrell had opened new doors.

“We have a seat at the table now because of Sir Martin Sorrell,” he said.

“He allows us to get opportunities that we would not have gotten otherwise. I used to have to pitch marketing managers and now I’m pitching at a C-suite level.”

Asked how it might affect the company if the 73-year-old Sorrell decided to retire one day, ter Haar replied: “I don’t think he will ever stop, he outworks me regularly and that is kind of weird.”

The COO also talked about how quickly the advertising landscape was changing. “Everybody is fighting towards the middle,” he said.

“We can be in a pitch up against  Accenture and Publicis these days. There is so much consolidation and we are competing with everybody.”

Looking towards the future, ter Haar claimed that virtual personal assistants would be buying all consumer goods on behalf of humans within 10 years. He predicted a real-time online bidding system where the machines would negotiate with each other based on the brief given to VPAs by their human clients.

This was part of the reason S4 Capital had focused its model around doing business with the top 10 to 15 global technology companies, he said. For they were fast becoming the new connective tissue of society – a space that the print and television media owners once occupied – according to the MediaMonks founder.

Analogue purchases, without a VPA, might become a hipster hobby in this brave new world – admitted ter Haar. “It will be a way for people to say ‘I am special, I make lifestyle choices’,” he said.


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