Geoffrey Roche, founder of Lowe Roche, has penned a lengthy discussion piece on the closing of Lowe Roche following its acquisition by IPG. But it's not a screed on the evils of holding company
acquisitions -- though he has voiced that viewpoint before. Rather it's a celebration of the fact that things change and many times organizations have to disappear to make way for change.
He's very pleased with the accomplishments of his agency over the course of its first 20 years since founding in 1991 and wrote, "…in that first 20 years we did not just great work, we did it with some of the most talented individuals in North America. An amazing hard working, hard partying brilliant bunch of folks."
And on the need for change, he adds, "This industry can't keep stumbling towards a cliff with no bottom. It's a business that needs a real shake up in the form of how to charge, how to buy new thinking, how to embrace new thinking and how to convince clients that doing same old, same old simply won't work. And it needs some Clients with some vision and courage to make that happen."
He goes on to lay out some of the drastic changes which have occurred over the course of the last 20 years that have dramatically changed things for agencies. Of note, the rise of Facebook and its shifting superiority over YouTube in video and how that shift has killed much of the traffic that used to make its way to branded sites.
He shares his woes, though, on the industry failing to meet many of these changes head on, adding, "I'm amazed at how little interest there is in media shops in trying something new like branded content and the like. The robotic answer is no, I've got a TV spot to book. PVR-ing is king for those of us who still watch TV and ask the average 20 something if they even own a TV or plan to get one and they'll tell you no. Reaching today's consumer is a monster task. Reaching! I'm not even taking about the message, I'm just saying figuring out the first part calls for some pretty brainy folks, let alone all that goes with it once you've got that done."
It's not all doom and gloom though. Roche is upbeat and urges those in the agency business to rise up and meet these crazy changes head on. In fact, he advises you to run into a room, close the door and scream at the top of your lungs in an effort to bring about the catharsis needed to enable a mentality that will foster these changes.
While he may not have a great love for IPG and the changes that came after the acquisition, he offers kind words and thanks to the people who worked for him over the years. "If you worked for me, I can’t thank you enough. You changed my life. But even better, you changed the lives of all the people around you who sat in awe of your talent, your ability, your teachable moments, your work ethic …and were inspired just as I was that people like you even existed. My truest inspiration came from YOU."
Well said, Geoffrey.