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

Q: In pursuit of the hallowed 360-degree communications solution,

my ad agency has developed a number of joint ventures with companies in

areas such as sponsorship and PR. As a marketing manager, I'm keen to

explore their promise of more integrated communications. But my company

employs a sponsorship manager and a head of PR, both of whom are

fiercely defensive of their own territories and budgets and determined

to pick their own suppliers. Any advice?



A: There are two people not worth writing to about this: your CEO, who

is in a perfect position to help but will choose not to understand the

question; and me, who understands the question perfectly but is in no

position to help.



At the root of the problem is a combination of snobbery and lunch.

Because brand managers have been allowed to become lowly people, the

function of brand management is now seen by top people as a lowly

occupation from which they themselves have escaped. So instead of

remembering that their corporate success depends on the aggregate

success of their brands, CEOs, out of pure occupational snobbery, prefer

to concern themselves with higher matters such as investor relations and

the CBI. As the importance of integrated brand communications becomes

more recognised, so CEOs detach themselves more disdainfully from their

management. The result: a fragmentation of brand responsibility to make

the management of our railways seem like a case study in single-minded

accountability.



This unfortunate state of affairs is confirmed by the importance of

lunch.



You like being given lunch by your suppliers; and so does your

sponsorship manager and your head of PR. If you did the sensible thing

and amalgamated territories, budgets and responsibilities, the number of

lunch opportunities would shrink proportionately.



I can only suggest you show this answer to your advertising agency and

see if their creative Johnnies can come up with anything.



Q: Do you think clients give a monkey's about the awards that agencies

win, unless it is on their own business?



A: As long as it works in the market, clients don't mind whether the

work you do for them wins awards or not. They may, however, allow

themselves the faintest expression of disappointment when the work you

do for all your other clients is consistently honoured. So unless you

can win awards for everything, I suggest you give up the game

altogether.



Q: I am a marketing director preparing to review my ad account. But my

superiors have told me that, in light of the economic picture, our

company's purchasing department will be playing a key role in making the

agency appointment, based on cost considerations. How do I make sure I

get the agency I want while keeping the procurement guys happy?



A: I take it that you've already made your decision and are calling a

beauty parade for the sake of your superiors and appearances? Then your

problem is easily solved.



Believe it or not, procurement people are human beings. While

occupationally hostile to any woolly talk about quality, they are deeply

sensitive to the accusation that they are blind to its value. You

should, therefore, brief your favoured agency thus: "Make your lead

executive a chartered accountant. Restrict your agency presentation

exclusively to price. Equip your meeting room with jugs of tap water and

40-watt bulbs."



When you all meet later to decide on a winner, your procurement people

will voice their unease. They're more than satisfied about cost-control

and financial discipline, they say - but might they not come at the

expense of quality?



Nod sagely, rifle through your briefcase and reveal, as if surprised,

that for three years running the agency in question has been rated top

for creativity.



Bingo, I think you'll find.



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

of Guardian Media Group and of WPP. 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.



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