PORTLAND, ORE. — Brian Wieser has become known as one of the top voices among Wall Street’s financial observers. As Senior Research Analyst of Advertising at Pivotal Research Group, he raised the blood pressure of many by declaring television as “the worst form of advertising except all those others which have been tried” for those with awareness-based goals.
Now, Wieser is poised to be a major influencer at one of the world’s largest media buyers.
Wieser is joining the senior leadership team at GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, as Global President of Business Intelligence.
Wieser is already sending emails from his new home and reports directly to Global CEO Kelly Clark. Wieser is being tasked to “drive and expand GroupM’s thought leadership practice” through the collaboration with GroupM’s agencies and WPP’s broader network to gather, analyze and distribute “actionable marketplace intelligence that gives clients insights on markets, audiences, partners and platforms, and supply and demand dynamics.”
In a personal note sent via e-mail, Wieser, who has been based in Portland since November 2011 while telecommuting to Midtown Manhattan, said, “It’s been an amazing run at Pivotal Research, and I’m grateful for the opportunity and the platform I had while there. They’ll continue to do fantastic work there in the years ahead.”
Wieser added that “many aspects” of his new role will be different. However, “much of what I will be focused on will be the same, but with a vantage point that will change and deepen given GroupM’s position as the world’s largest buyer of advertising.”
What could that mean for broadcast television’s biggest companies?
In numerous investor notes released in recent months at Pivotal, Wieser was highly critical of TV’s continued ability to deliver ROI for advertisers. In a February 2018 note, he wrote, “We continue to believe in our maxim that television is the worst form of advertising except all those others which have been tried, at least for those advertisers focused on awareness-based media goals, and budgets are generally unaffected by changes in ratings in the short-term. Unfortunately, sentiment towards the medium worsens as commonly reported or relied-upon measures such as adults 18-49 fall, especially by the significant levels observed recently. Negative sentiment ultimately leads to advertisers’ efforts to explore and encourage the use of alternative media vehicles, or otherwise establish marketing goals that are not necessarily awareness-driven.”
It is this line of thinking that made Wieser a highly regarded analyst in the marketing, media, advertising and technology fields, earning such names as “Madison Avenue’s de facto Chief Economist” while RBR+TVBR has labeled him a “wordsmith of Wall Street” for his prolific writings and insight into some of the nation’s biggest media companies’ financial health.
“We are thrilled to welcome Brian to our team,” said Clark. “He has deep understanding of economic and industry dynamics, consumer behaviors, media partners, and technology platforms. He is uniquely suited to create insightful analysis that will help our clients make marketing investment decisions.”
Wieser began his career as a Lehman Brothers associate in 2000. Two years later, he joined Deutsche Bank as an Associate Analyst. In October 2003 he took on the role of EVP/Global Director of Forecasting for Interpublic’s Magna Global.
Wieser exited Magna in March 2011 for the CMO role at Simulmedia.
“There is no better opportunity to help shape the future of marketing and advertising than this role with GroupM and WPP,” said Wieser. “The entire advertising industry is dealing with the consequences of technology-driven disruption, and every day the rules for how brands go to market are being rewritten. For nearly eight years at Pivotal, I’ve been connecting with every corner of the market to evaluate how the major players are leading – or reacting – to this change. I’m excited to use this experience and insight at GroupM and WPP to help clients grow.”
Wieser is Canadian and received his MBA from the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario.