EDITORIAL: Changes that won’t halt the rise of globalisation

By STEPHEN CARTER, chief executive of J. W, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 05 December 1997 12:00AM

Older advertising lags maintain there is nothing new in the business; that every development has a precedent - usually in the 70s here, or the 60s in the US; and that adland remains exactly as it has been for the past 25 years.

Older advertising lags maintain there is nothing new in the

business; that every development has a precedent - usually in the 70s

here, or the 60s in the US; and that adland remains exactly as it has

been for the past 25 years.



Campaign might beg to differ. The apparently inexorable trend of global

centralisation has given rise to a relatively new phenomenon whereby a

network will handle work created by the small, sexy, local agency around

the region, if not the world.



Remove ’sexy’ from the above sentence and you have a situation that

already exists within many networks. There are invariably lead agency

offices that create the bulk of international work within their own

networks.



London is often the beneficiary, largely because many regional client

headquarters are situated here. London’s creative reputation is a

factor, but a secondary influence.



However, in the past it was also obvious that it would be a

McCann-Erickson or a Grey that would act as a handling network for

outsiders. First, they have the best coverage of offices, and second,

they could be described as the most pragmatic of networks. Now, anything

goes. Even a creatively renowned group like Lowe is hardly going to

decline to run Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe’s Vauxhall/Opel Astra launch

work across Europe. Not when, together with McCanns, it has the rest of

the business, and not having last year picked up the Saab account from

the same General Motors Europe.



Some might point to Nike handing Wieden & Kennedy the means to launch in

the UK as a time-honoured development, but today’s difference is Wieden

need not be in every market to create the Nike work for the region.



It’s foolish to imagine that these moves represent any halt in the march

of globalisation, but what they show is that within these seemingly

impregnable worldwide relationships there is, for a host of reasons,

room for a little leeway - in Rainey Kelly’s case, pounds 30 million

worth.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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