CLOSE-UP: LIVE ISSUE/PREDICTIONS FOR 2002 - What can advertising expect from the new year? Francesca Newland speaks with five industry stalwarts about what 2002 will bring

It wouldn't be the first Campaign of the year without some serious

predictions, so here are a range covering various aspects of the

advertising industry. WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell says when we should

expect a recovery, while D&AD's David Kester and Campaign's editor,

Caroline Marshall, explain which agencies they think will dominate

creatively.



Isabel Bird of Bird & Co looks at who will become famous. Finally, Jim

Surguy of Results Business Consulting predicts what mergers and

acquisitions activity awaits us in 2002.



WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell on the timing of an economic

recovery 2002 will be another difficult year but not as difficult as

2001, particularly during the period after the material adverse change

of 11 September. I do not believe we are in an "A-", "U-", "W-" or

"Japanese L- shaped" recession.



One likely possibility is what the stock markets seem to be predicting -

a "V-shaped" recession with a recovery in the second half of 2002,

stimulated by the fiscal and monetary policies of governments on both

sides of the Atlantic.



Having gone to war, stimulative economic policies are crucial.



The alternative is we will see slower growth post-11 September as

terrorism is a tax on globalisation. In other words, the economic growth

curve for the world economy will be lower following those terrible

events, although they probably should be seen in a continuum from Suez

in 1956 through the oil price increases of the 70s and the Gulf War. The

West has been singularly unable or unwilling to understand the Muslim

mind - a situation which must change to develop political and economic

stability. Charlotte Beers has a crucial and challenging task.



I favour the latter scenario. While I am not pessimistic, I think the

recovery will be slower than the stock markets indicate. I see nothing

to date that indicates any recovery. After all, the 90s witnessed ten

years of unprecedented growth, which will be difficult to replicate. If

anything, following the biblical parable, we had seven very fat years

and will have seven thinner ones.



Results Business Consulting managing director Jim Surguy on mergers and

acquisitions With major new business a rarity and spends declining, cost

control and growth by acquisition would appear to be the principal

weapons in the armoury, particularly of the big battalions. But to

achieve quality deals, buyers need strong share prices, spare cash or

willing lenders.



Agency share prices are significantly down, however, meaning it takes

more shares for a deal, making deals more expensive. IPG, Omnicom and

WPP all have less cashflow and more debt than a year ago so it is no

surprise that the deal rate seriously slowed in 2001.



We predict that this is but a hiccup in an ever-continuing trend in

industry consolidation. As 2002 progresses, the majors will have

streamlined and restructured. To sustain share prices, they will

continue to build by acquisition. Selectivity will be the touchstone:

quality not quantity.



The mid-size players such as Cordiant and Grey, who are not big enough

to compete in the global market, will probably find buyers, and

approaches to the remaining sizeable independent agencies will further

diminish their number.



We will probably see more mergers among small independents for

cost-saving and skill synergy reasons, as the business climate improves

later in 2002.



Deal making will continue in 2002: growth by acquisition is a permanent

feature of the marcoms industry. It will, however, be at a lower level

than the past two years.



Chief executive of Bird & Co Isabel Bird on who will become famous Lee

Daley, the new chief executive of Red Cell Worldwide, will bring

together strategy and creativity and lead a global company which will

change how "ad agencies" do business with clients.



William Eccleshare, the former chief executive of Ammirati Puris Lintas,

having joined McKinsey as a partner in its branding practice, has now

learned brand strategy from the top down. He has seen the business from

both sides of the fence and could bring a valuable perspective back into

the advertising world.



St Luke's former managing director David Abrahams' move to Discovery

Networks as a general manager is part of a growing trend. He saw the

challenge as adding brand strategy to a creative process, allowing

Discovery to be more effective with consumers.



D&AD chief executive David Kester on creative quality in 2002 Question:

how to write a Campaign creative prediction while protecting own back

and reputation for neutrality? Answer: fall back on the industry's own

judgments in this year's D&AD Annual. On Sunday night (sad) I trawled

through the Book and noted all the agencies which achieved multiple and

significant entries. About 20 advertising agencies really shine, so I

narrowed the field by culling those whose presence depended on one

campaign or client.



Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO maintains a strong showing, as does Bartle

Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi, Lowe, Leagas Delaney and Saatchi & Saatchi.

On the strongest newcomer front, Fallon is looking good, and there are

some notable single campaign triumphs such as Mustoe Merriman Levy for

Penguin.



But the verdict of the good book is unequivocal. Three agencies have the

creative firepower to pepper all sections. If we are to judge simply on

volume TBWA/London puts in a bravura performance (PlayStation, Oddbins,

Science Museum, The Big Issue, Le Creuset). Leo Burnett throws down the

gauntlet, demonstrating that it can break new creative ground for big

global brands. Mother wins the plaudits for innovation and its ability

to cross disciplines. Can I remove tin hat now?



Campaign editor Caroline Marshall on which agencies will soar creatively

in 2002 I'm tasked with a truly fearsome brief: which agencies will set

the creative agenda in 2002? In other words, if I were a prospect with a

sizzling creative assignment, which agencies would I want to know

better?



I'll start with one of the smaller contenders. And they don't come much

smaller than CDD, which has cast off its Testa links, picked up Peter

Mead as an unofficial chairman and won Mercedes-Benz as its founding

client.



My view on Dave Dye, Sean Doyle and Walter Campbell, the creative

partners, is they will turn this trophy launch account into something

special.



Moving on to the big league, I know that BBH has some fascinating plans

up its sleeve which will kick into touch old definitions of where

advertising starts and stops. I hope for a creative resurgence at BMP

DDB which has been side-tracked by business losses.



The easiest prediction is that Mother will continue to set the creative

pace in the mid-sized agency territory. We can all spot a zany Mother ad

a mile off but it's easy to forget that with every campaign it offers a

bespoke answer to clients' needs, not ready-made solutions or

panaceas.



But what else would you expect from Campaign's Agency of the Year?



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