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PepsiCo exec challenges agencies

News, 12 July 2016

CANNES: Many agencies remain ill-equipped to handle their clients' burgeoning demand for content, a trend with implications for the marketing industry as a whole, a leading executive from PepsiCo has argued.

Brad Jakeman, President/Global Beverage Group at PepsiCo, suggested that industry models are typically still better suited to the requirements of 20 years ago than the always-on environments in which brands such as Lay's and Pepsi function today.

"Instead of five pieces of content a year, a brand like Pepsi needs about 5,000 pieces of content a year," he said. (For more, including details of further challenges for the sector, read Warc's exclusive report: PepsiCo's Jakeman sternly takes agencies to task.)

"Instead of having six months to develop it, we have six hours or six days. And instead of it costing $2m, it needs to cost $20,000."

Summing up the needs of most major brands in simple terms, Jakeman described it as "being able to produce content in real time."

At present, however, agencies often struggle to work consistently at this kind of speed in a way that is both affordable and sustainable.

"There is no infrastructure to advertisers to be able to produce that content. You have to patch it together. Certainly the traditional agencies can't do it," said Jakeman. "You have to patch it together through all of these different content providers."

Having worked at Ogilvy & Mather – alongside stints at Citi, Macy's and Activision – before joining his current employer in 2011, Jakeman is familiar with practices at large clients and agencies alike.

And he asserted that taking some production capabilities in-house is a viable option for brands seeking to adapt to the demands of the digital age.

"I've been asking the advertising industry now for years … to evolve their models so that they can do that. And they haven't. So we've done it ourselves," Jakeman said.

Data sourced from Warc