Friday, April 12, 2019

Gary Vaynerchuk drops some F bombs on Publicis Media | Advertising Age

It wouldn’t be a Gary Vaynerchuk presentation without a few F-bombs. On Friday, he dropped a megaton or so on Publicis Media CEO Steve King and holding companies generally at the Association of National Advertisers Media Leadership Conference in Orlando, evoking audience laughter as he alleged Publicis and other holding company contracts keep clients bound to agencies against their will.

This came in response to a question by moderator Benjamin Jankowski, Mastercard senior vice president for global media, who asked the founder and CEO of VaynerMedia about a speech King made yesterday at the conference.

Here’s a brief transcript.

Jankowski: Steve King said yesterday if your client doesn’t trust you, they should fire you.

Vaynerchuk: Bullshit. Then tell Steve to stop writing contracts that don’t allow that to happen. Right? I was at a meeting a week ago where they wanted to fire Publicis, flat out. Board and C-level with me. Can’t. Eighteen more months. Contract is fucking ironclad as fuck. Real life.

Jankowski: Brand wrote a shitty contract.

Vaynerchuk: Holding companies were disproportionately smarter than brands the past 30 years, and it’s not even close. I’ve got a challenge for the ANA. If big holding companies are so brave and so powerful and so [meritorious] and so awesome, no more contracts that don’t allow people to be out. VaynerMedia allows you to fire us day one. No penalty. I’m a little fucking entrepreneur.

In a statement through a spokeswoman, King said: “We prioritize strong and trusting relationships with our clients. To suggest otherwise is simply uninformed and false. Further, we have no knowledge of any client situation that reflects the suggestion made.”

Conference commentary wasn't all bad for Publicis Media. In a separate presentation Thursday, Scott Grenz, vice president and global head of media for GlaxoSmithKline, praised Publicis as the best solution his company found following an extensive global media buying review last year. GSK brought media planning in house but gave a dedicated Publicis group global buying duties.


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