Cinema in Mzansi … Fighting for the leftovers?

Watching the spat between Mzansi’s two cinema media sales-houses, over correct levels of reported advertising investment in Nielsen Adex, is a little like watching two Yorkshire Terriers fighting over the pig’s trotters, while the Rottweiler walks away with rest of the carcase!

I do know, and indeed subscribe to, the old adage “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that counts but the size of the fight in the dog”, but when you control less than 1% of the media market, threatening to pull out of Adex (in the one instance) and refusing to engage with the industry at all (in the case of the other) surely positions Cinema in South Africa as a candidate for the Media Darwin Awards.

Italians, who arguably know a bit about preparing pork, often observe that constantly weighing the pig doesn’t make it any fatter. Surely the real challenge facing Cinema is not reporting the existing levels of adspend but trying to grow them? Wouldn’t time and energy be better spent in attempting to regain some of the ground lost to other advertising media formats? There is little doubt, for instance, that digital advertising in South Africa is under-reported, and under-utilised for that matter, but threatening to compound that problem by withdrawing from central industry measures would simply not contribute to growth of the medium. And it is growing. By leaps and bounds.

Cinema threatening to pull out of Adex is like Sundowns threatening to pull out the PSL. When you’re bottom of the log with 1 point on the board, nobody, other than a handful of diehard fans, is going to miss you. And you don’t get new supporters when you’ve been relegated to the 2nd Division. For the media uninformed, 2nd Division refers the column on the extreme right of your competitive adspend graph which is marked “all others”. It’s not a good place to be.

If you want to hold Alex Ferguson to ransom when you are negotiating your contract, you’d better make sure you are the MVP (Most Valuable Player) otherwise you are going to get the hairdryer treatment … Ask David Beckham!

Right now Cinema is not the MVP in the Mzansi media mix and holding the industry to ransom seems incredibly short sighted.

Unless of course you’re looking for a new hairstyle or MVP actually stands for Management Via Petulance! Eish!