People often ask Campaign the best way to raise their agency’s profile.
‘There’s only one way,’ we say. ‘Do famous ads.’ It’s a glib response,
and there are all kinds of complexities behind it, but this is the
policy practised by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Lowe Howard-Spink and BMP
and it has never done them any harm.
Perhaps it is what Graham Hinton had in mind when he introduced cash
bonuses (first at DMB&B, now at Bates Dorland) for staff who win top
trophies at one of the industry’s five major awards schemes. Of the
pounds 20,000 booty that Dorlands will be offering, at least 50 per cent
will go to the creative team, but it can be weighted towards whoever is
the author of the award-winning idea.
It’s impossible not to sympathise with an agency’s desire to build its
creative credentials. That’s the holy grail clients and agencies have
been searching for since long before they all started wondering which
half of their advertising budget was going down the toilet.
Fair enough - but pounds 20,000? Not only does it assume that creatives
are motivated as much by gongs and money as by business objectives,
doesn’t it also suggest that Dorlands expects to shell out very rarely?
In their heart of hearts, I reckon that most people believe that money
can’t buy you awards. Offering cash for gongs is useful only for those
agencies who’ve had difficulty making the world believe they are
dedicated to creativity. That’s why it’s perfect for DMB&B and Dorlands,
and why you’ll never see anything like it at BMP, Lowes or AMV.
Next time someone asks me the best way to raise their creative profile,
I’ll tell them to hang the expense and hire a good creative director and
some top-flight teams. Come to think of it, that’s exactly what Dorlands
has done. Shame they couldn’t give it time to work without waving wads
of cash in people’s faces.