The end of the “gatekeepers?” Yet another research exec has been let go in the media agency arena. Shari Anne Brill, SVP/Director of Programming for Carat, is the latest veteran research exec to be shown the door. As well as analyzing TV ratings and content for Carat’s media planners, buyers and clients, she sat on the Council for Research Excellence and the new Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement.
With this trend are media agencies going to have less ability to sift through and challenge the figures presented to them from the other side of the guest during negotiations? We certainly don’t think it can help.
The trend now for these folks is to go to the other side – the broadcast and cable networks. We can tell you that Brill is a big lover of content and it wouldn’t surprise us a bit to see her working soon for one of her favorite networks.
Ironically, in November, Brill was named a Mediaweek All-Star. Also ironically, she was given a Q&A from a Mediapost just recently. One of the questions was, “There’s been a lot retrenchment of researchers in many media companies. Going forward, what do you think the role of research will be within ad agencies?”
Brill had answered, “Carat recognizes the value of research, which is the reason I’ve been here as long as I have. We realize that the consumer is at the center of everything and research at the center of understanding what drives consumers’ intent, media habits and purchase decisions.”
Brill could not be reached for comment. If you’d like to reach out her, she can be reached at [email protected]
RBR-TVBR observation: We know that Carat, like most other media agencies these days, wants to be seen as all things digital, but having less firepower on the TV ratings analysis side could be a hindrance. We hope her former superior, Mike Hess who joined Carat a year ago as EVP/Research, Marketing Science and Consumer Insights, will be able to carry the torch. He’ll have his work cut out for him, as both Alberto-Culver and Radio Shack are up for review and the incumbent is Carat.