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.
The Warc 100, an annual list of the best agencies based on an analysis of winning campaigns across 87 different award events or competitions, has named Lowe Lintas India the number one agency on its 2015 list. The agency scored 213 points and was closely followed by AMV BBDO with 191 and Colenso BBDO with 148.
Of the recognition, Lowe Lintas
India CEO Joseph George said: "We have had a terrific run on creative effectiveness this year across the globe; and all the accolades have further reinforced our belief in the type of work we want to
do and believe in."
Chicago's Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, followed by PHD Mumbai. 360i New York was named top digital agency with R/GA New York taking second place.
The Warc 100 is a ranking of top marketing campaigns and companies that the organization says is based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions. The organization does not disclose the competitions that it uses to devise the ranking.
Clearly Havas Chicago hasn't been paying attention to recent research that found open office space to be decidedly less productive than that of the old school office. The agency recently completed
a $10 million renovation of its 81,000-square-foot River North office space transforming two floors of office space into a wide open, unproductive free-for-all.
And get this. The agency used to occupy three floors. Now it occupies two. They say that's because the new office design uses space more efficiently. Translated into English, that means stuffing the same amount of bodies into a smaller space to save money.
The new design has done away with all offices and added all the usual distracting crap you'd expect to see in an advertising agency: graffiti, a soda fountain and a bubble hockey table. They've even added bicycle racks and a "town hall" meeting area with bleachers. Oh, and they've given the new space a cute new name; Havas Village. Because yeah -- it takes a village to raise children and, well, that's pretty much what ad agency people are; spoiled little brats who prefer a playpen instead of an office in which to "work."
Okay, that's harsh, but I can say that because I've been there.Of the new space, Havas Chicago CEO Paul Marobella said: "The big part of this space, outside of how cool it is, is that it's really built for utility and built for a purpose. Creative, media, strategy and account all sit together, organized by account. What's different about us is we can make a decision on Monday and it will be implemented by Friday."
It's really kind of strange -- and, well, depressing -- that actual adults with actual jobs in actual ad agencies that are actual businesses that, you know, are run by actual adults actually need
advice like this, but apparently this is the case.
Penning a piece for The Chattanoogan (what the hell kind of name for a news outlet is that?), Connect Marketing Head Honcho Clint Powell has some advice that really shouldn't be the kind of advice that actual adults need. Kids, maybe, but actual adults? No. In any event, he wrote the piece and if you've worked in the ad business for any length of time, you know full well there are, unfortunately, plenty of people who need this advice.
His advice? Knowing when to say things clearly and in a way that doesn't waste other people's time nor make you end up looking like a fool. He offers up four things that are perfectly okay to say but for some reason, people are too scared to say them. They are "I am sorry," "I can not do that," "I don't know" and "Let's be clear." You can read his whole article for the details but, seriously, you really shouldn't have to.
Toronto-based agency john st. has made an interesting hire. Hoping to beef up their digital services, the agency has brought in "an accomplished entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience
building global digital media and consumer internet businesses from concept through to final acquisition."
So who did the agency hire? The guy's name is Tom St. John. Yeah. No kidding. john st. hired St. John. Like, when does that ever happen?
Of joining the agency, St. John says, “I feel that john st. has done some of the most innovative digital work in the country for some time now, but I believe that there is room for them to lead the broader digital discussion with clients. Analytics, social ROI, branded content, mobile advertising, online video -- these are just some of the challenges our clients are facing, and we can help them maximize those opportunities.”
Working with McCann London, the folks behind Cannes Lions have launched a new campaign that suggests agencies offer to send their worst employees to the festival of creativity this year...because
it's cheaper than firing them and paying severance.
The purpose, of course, is to make one last-ditch effort to inspire the -- shall we say -- less inspired by dropping them into the center of advertising creativity for one week. I guess if after a week in Cannes they still suck, well, then it's time to bid them adieu. Although you will have to pay them severance then, so the whole send-them-to-Cannes thing is, indeed, a gamble.
Headlines to the ads read: "Nisha, Strategist. Has dedicated seven loyal years to your agency. With very little to show for it" and Samuel, Producer. You fought hard to hire him. Responds to every suggestion with 'It can't be done.'" The ads are signed off with "Buy her/him a delegate pass. Cheaper than severance."
Of the approach, McCann London CCO Rob Doubal said: "Although our campaign is humorous, it makes a very sensible point. Why should being a Cannes Lions delegate be the preserve of the already excellent? If we really want a more creative world, as we all profess, we should also be encouraging the not-so-excellent performers to be inspired by Cannes Lions."
Funny stuff, this campaign. Trouble is, now everyone that is sent to Cannes by their agency is now going to have a gigantic inferiority complex along with nightmares about whether or not agency management thinks they’re up to snuff.
Oh, and the poor people who had to pose for the campaign -- branded losers for life!