CLOSE-UP: ON THE CAMPAIGN COUCH ... WITH JB

Q: I work my heart out to put my agency on the map. Unfortunately,

my brother, an equal partner, does not. He's far too 'busy' swanning

around so-called art galleries and getting me bad press with the News of

the World's anti-kiddie porn brigade. What can I do to make him pull his

weight? PS: I'd be very much obliged if you could maintain my

anonymity.



A: I find the predicament you describe an improbable one and remote from

anything I've encountered in real life. However, in the unlikely event

that this is a real problem, this is what you should do.



First, discard all thought of making your brother pull his weight.

People who enjoy swanning around so-called art galleries are never going

to pull their weight. Instead, you must aim to put clear blue water

between your brother and your agency.



You will, of course, have considered changing the name of your agency or

alternatively requesting your brother to change his; and I can well

understand why this came to nothing. I also assume that the name in

question is a distinctive one? Had you been called Smith, for example,

you would not have felt the need to write to me. So you are left with

only one course of action: the deliberate creation of maximum

confusion.



Leave your agency and start another one, ensuring that both your old

agency and your new one share the same name. Then do it again. And if

necessary again. Aim high: think Delaney. There are so many agencies

called Delaney that no amount of scurrilous innuendo in the News of the

World could possible damage any one of them.



Should this plan prove impractical, make a massive contribution to a

political party, acquire a peerage, and embark on a career in

politics.



PS: How many of your potential clients read the News of the World

anyway?



Q: Brett Gosper writes: We are a six-year-young agency with a strong

culture and our own way of maximising the probability of success on our

clients' businesses. We have never felt the need to bore our clients and

prospects with a 'Positioning' or 'Mission Statement' as prevalent in

the traditional American network. Are we missing a trick?



A: Dear Brett, thank you for your kind enquiry. It is commonly believed

that, when clients first agree on a shortlist and then conduct a beauty

parade, they are looking for the perfect agency. They are not. Being a

committee, they are seeking objective reasons for eliminating the

candidates, one by one, until only the eventual winner is left. So it is

that Agency A is bumped for its failure to have an office in Kuala

Lumpur and Agency B because its Reykjavic associate handles a

competitor. Any such fact is greedily seized upon: it makes

consensus-style decision-making so very much easier.



So, yes: I'm afraid you should have a Mission Statement. Spend no more

than ten minutes writing it. Have it set professionally in a

well-branded booklet, send one copy to the AAR and keep another in a

filing cabinet somewhere. (Under no circumstances allow your planning

and creative departments to know that it exists: any such respect as you

might now enjoy would be swiftly dissipated.)



Some day soon, you will be asked by an important prospect if you have

one.



Remembering only to blow the dust off first, you can hand it to him

proudly.



And if he can't find another reason to eliminate you, you might well end

up with the business; in which case, I shall expect a small glass of dry

white wine.



Jeremy Bullmore is a former chairman of J. Walter Thompson, a director

of Guardian Media Group and of WPP, and the president of NABS. He writes

a monthly column for Management Today. A more serious look at problems

in the workplace, it both inspired and complements On the Campaign

Couch.



Address your problems to him at Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London

W6 7JP. Or e-mail campaign@haynet.com.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Stop and stare at what these nine brands did for the eclipse

You don't have to shield your eyes from social media during an eclipse - brands from DoubleTree by Hilton to Pizza Hut have found creative ways to capitalise on the total solar eclipse.

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).