Did SEMPO choke at SES New York?

Day One SES New York and SEMPO have kindly put on an open bar; it’s tucked in between the SES Awards/Speaker Event and the Pub Crawl.

I had a nice glass of white wine when I walked in. In no time at all I dropped my business card into a bucket waved at me by a SEMPO employee (part time) – it’s a chance to win something (money off at Starbucks, I think) and, of course, for SEMPO to find out whether they could recruit me into their organisation. I wasn’t alone. I was with – let’s name no names – one or more UK agencies. The SEMPO rep asked why we weren’t already part of SEMPO UK.

It was interesting to see that myself and ‘one or more’ UK agencies both listed the same reason why we’re not in SEMPO UK. In particular we don’t agree with some of the business practises carried out by ‘significants’ in SEMPO UK.

For me I strongly detest those agencies who consider keywords to be their own IP and who will not share them with their clients – this, right now, is common in SEMPO UK. This wasn’t just my opinion as ‘one or more’ agencies with me agreed.

SEMPO started to hold the presentation. They begin by congratulating the current officers and point out that Gord Hotchkiss has stepped down. I’ve not met Gord but he’s one of my favourite bloggers. He’s smart. It’s a loss to SEMPO not to have him.

Chris Boggs speaks for SEMPO and he’s a good speaker. He begins by addressing whether SEMPO is too American focused. He denies it. He gives reasons why SEMPO has some US specific interests. Minutes later he’s making embarrassed jokes as to why his SEMPO re-cap is... you guessed it, American focused.

I’ve taken a picture of the presentations used but I couldn’t but help notice there is _no_ SEMPO UK. There’ a SEMPO Eastern Europe, though. There’s a ‘working group’ in SEMPO for the UK. Amazingly there’s nothing for Germany.

The whole thing reminded me of my SEMPO review I did last year where I noted that SEMPO had made some progress but SMA had struggled. Let’s continue that research into Press Releases and see how well SEMPO has done in pushing the word in 2007. The following graph looks at mentions of the word ‘SEMPO’ in Google News over different years.

So it does look like SEMPO had a better year this year (although, really, Google News added more sources likely to mention SEMPO which is why the count went up).

Finally, it's worth noting that one of my favourite Agency Gossip rags Agency Spy poked fun at the recent iCrossing/SEMPO press release today.

I suspect we’ll see changes at SEMPO UK this year and continue to see conflict SEMPO over the next few years.

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