Dealing with failed Olympic marketing – Tom Doctoroff

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Tom Doctoroff

Olympic sponsors have started to lick their wounds and the Financial Times asked our Tom Doctoroff – among many others – to give their verdicts as marketing experts on a failed Beijing Olympics.

“If you turn on any Chinese television station, most of the advertising is absolutely indistinguishable. It’s loud, it’s got the same voiceover, the production values are primitive to say the least – I mean, they are antediluvian,” says Tom Doctoroff, Greater China chief executive of JWT, the advertising agency…..”Brands are not just a question of desire, but it’s also a question of concrete corporate structure . . . it’s still very rare to see a truly marketing-driven organisation, as opposed to a sales-driven organisation,” says Mr Doctoroff. Many Chinese companies take a short-term view of profits – and do not want to invest money over the longer term to build their brand.

The debate on the Olympic effects for marketing is going to have a far-reaching effect as many sponsors have already announced they will be backing out. An for good reason, says also consultant Paul French in the same article:

“The problem is, no one has really managed to get out ahead of the pack with the Olympics . . . there’s just this pack mentality with everyone doing very similar sort of stuff”.

Both Tom Doctoroff and Paul French are speakers at the China Speakers Bureau. If you are interested in having one of them – or both – as a speaker, do let us know. If you want to have a larger choice, you can look also at our marketing page, or get in touch with one of our consultants for a tailor-made advice.