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Oct 11, 2018

Dave Smith is an industry living legend, icon and one of the few precious voices independent left in the business. Today, he shares what it really means to be an agency, what he personally has seen within the switch of print to digital, and the exciting announcement on what the future holds for his company, Mediasmith.



[7:03] There will be announcements of more smaller and independent agencies joining the ANA in the future.

[9:32] Dave shares how the IAB Terms and Conditions came about. Dave got involved to cut out friction in how they did business and to make it affordable.

[13:40] Google’s option to now add unsold inventory gave advertisers the ability to pick a target audience, keywords and the sites they wanted to run on at heavily discounted prices.

[16:28] Dave predicts that over the next five years there will be a big push of technology companies hiring liberal arts majors because they need people with problem-solving skills who think logically.

[19:07] When you don’t disclose the proper information to the client, you lose the position of a true agent — looking out for the client.

[23:20] Dave discusses the latest news of the FBI investigating the ad industry’s media-buying practices, possible fraud, and kickbacks.

[26:08] In a period of 12 years, digital and print switched positions on which one was free as a bonus.

[31:32] Bringing jobs in-house often comes with the challenge of finding the right people for the job, and then retaining them. Anheuser-Busch is an example of a large company that brought advertising in-house, and then decided to go in an agency direction again when they saw it didn’t save them that much money, and they were missing the creativity that came with variety.

[36:11] Dave will be helping at Mediasmith now from a Chairman position and the management buyout was just a formalization of the process over the last several years. He looks forward to upcoming endeavors with his wife Karen, including travel.

[44:43] Dave shares a story from the early 1980’s where an unpaid media bill and a hot tip led him to not get on a certain plane ride. This was his “Godfather moment” in the ad industry, and highlighted the importance of knowing who his friends (and more importantly, his enemies) are.

[47:40] Out of his own bankruptcy, Dave developed a term he coined “Sequential Liability.” He stayed optimistic, forward-thinking, and he learned to appreciate fear as a great motivator.