The AOR Model Might Be Dying - But Here's Why It Shouldn't

Writing in Forbes, Avi Dan discusses the notion of whether or not the agency of record model is dead. But he comes to no real conclusion. I will. It is my belief that the agency of record is the best model and that brands who shop every last project out to the some specialty shop or the lowest bidder are doing themselves a disservice in the long run. Why? Because every new shop wants to put its stamp on the brand -- and that almost always results in different iterations of the brand promise when it should be consistent year after year after year. Yes, specialty shops can move quicker than most mainstream agencies, but unless a lasting bond is formed between agency and brand, the two shall never come to a true understanding of one another. My suggestion? Agencies should get over their pride and partner -- truly partner -- with other entities that can provide what the brand needs so that there is still one controlling interest in place overseeing brand consistency. Yes. It's much easier said than done. But that shouldn’t deter agencies from trying.

In a hilarious take on why agency credential pitches are pure folly, Brothers and Sisters CEO Matthew Charlton writes, "I think it starts in a bad place because unknown to the client, the agency has spent more time arguing about the font, font size and visuals in the PowerPoint and even longer on what to put on the reel than any one of their clients' business in the last three months. Agencies are obsessed with their creds." Having worked in many an agency, I can confirm that is, sadly, 100% true. He boils it all down to one hilarious equation: a) What The Client Wants (WTCW) = b) What The Agency Actually Wants To Talk About (WTAAWTTA) - c) What The Agency Has Actually Produced (WTAHAP) x d) Level Of Summary Exaggeration Required (LOSER).

Oh, this is rich. After the PR arm of Carmichael Lynch, known as Carmichael Lynch Spong, realized there might be confusion in the marketplace as to which entity is which, the agency has decided to spin off the PR unit as, simply, Spong. How long did it take them to figure that out? 23 years. Yes. 23 years. Of the change, Carmichael Lynch Spong Founder and President Doug Spong said: "On occasion, there’s confusion between whether Carmichael Lynch Spong is an advertising agency or if Carmichael Lynch is a PR firm, so it brings a lot of clarity to that, and in this day and age, clarity is good." Really, Doug? Really?

And if you've been living under a rock for the past day or two, it might interest you to know that JWT is changing its name back to J. Walter Thompson. Say what you will about that, but the real news is that Sir Martin Sorrell let the cat out of the bag at an executive breakfast Monday -- stealing the thunder right out from under JWT CEO Bob Jeffrey, who had been adhering to a plan to make the change later this year in December to coincide with the agency's 150th anniversary. Oops.

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