BACKBITE

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.

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.



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