Carlos Watson indicated on Monday morning that he has a lot to discuss with advertisers, although his company, OG Media, is surrounded by a storm of tough news about his relationship with investors, sellers and employees. “This is our Lazarus moment,” executive told NBC’s “Today” interviewer Craig Melvin.
Madison Avenue is not so sure.
Watson is getting a cool reception among the top media-buying companies, according to an executive familiar with recent promotions, OG has created for those who manage billions of dollars in advertising costs on behalf of top marketers. Watson and Ozzy Media are talking to buyers about the company’s “temporary break” and describing an approach that “Ozzy will be back again,” the executive said. “It’s probably falling on deaf ears.” A representative of the OGC could not be reached for comment.
There are reasons to be skeptical when dealing with Ozzy. Since a column was published in the New York Times a week ago, the company has been isolated, outlining how the digital-media outlet forged financial protection from Goldman Sachs forged a testimonial from a YouTube executive. Some media outlets have heard tough stories about overworked OG employees. Others have weak links – even non-existent – links to media organizations like the A + E network or Amazon.
Just a few months ago, Oz enjoyed amazing access to top advertising agencies. WPP’s GroupM unveiled a two-year deal with Ozy in April that calls for the agency to create bespoke video and audio series for clients. Oz also provided counseling services on trends. In March, another major media buyer, Dentsu Media, began a three-year partnership with Oz.
On Monday, Watson told Axios that the company’s agreements with WPP and Dentsu still exist. GroupM and Dentsur representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
OG has probably benefited from the recent focus of the advertising industry, which redirects client spending towards media companies owned by color executives. In recent months, Target, Verizon, and Procter & Gamble have expressed new desires to work with black-owned businesses or to form partnerships with Black Creative executives. Interpublic Group’s MediaBrands, a large purchasing company, promises a series of “equity upfront” events that keep advertisers in touch with media outlets that cater to people from specific backgrounds. Individuals and companies scrutinize their work toward minority and multicultural audiences in the wake of the murder of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, most of the activity comes after months of reflection in the United States.
Advertisers are facing new and increasing pressure to consider how their dollars are spent. A group led by Bayer Allen, the entrepreneurial owner of Weather Channel and a large group of TV stations, among other media assets, has filed a lawsuit against top media outlets and marketers over the past year that time media outlets have passed while supporting a wider mix. Allen succeeded in April promising General Motors, the largest U.S. carmaker, to quadruple the advertising dollar by going to black-owned media outlets between 2021 and 2025.
The treatment of various audiences, employees and media outlets in the advertising industry has come under repeated scrutiny. But so, also, there is an allocation of advertising dollars in digital venues that lacks a consensual measure of viewership. Trade groups like Ason. To ensure that national advertisers have called more than once for greater clarity of information about viewers and listeners, there are a number of listeners or minutes of video streams provided by companies like ComScore. However, there is also the opportunity to skew the behavior of the audience. And new ad relationships based on so-called “programmatic” distributions mean that advertisers are less aware of the media outlets that support their ads.