EDITORIAL: Agencies must adapt to clients’ changing needs

Just when agencies were waking up to the dangers of hungry management consultants eating their lunch, along come outfits such as the Creative Partnership, threatening to devour dessert as well.

Just when agencies were waking up to the dangers of hungry

management consultants eating their lunch, along come outfits such as

the Creative Partnership, threatening to devour dessert as well.



The Creative Partnership isn’t one of advertising’s more familiar

names.



But it will have done its profile no harm by making off with the Channel

4 account which has been with BMP4 for 16 years.



What’s disturbing for the industry is that the Creative Partnership

isn’t an agency in the conventional sense but a film promotions company.

What should be more worrying are the reasons given by David Brook,

Channel 4’s director of strategy and development, for abandoning the

agency route.



’We’re an entertainment provider, not a can of baked beans. The skills

required are different,’ he says. His words should set alarm bells

ringing in every agency. Here is a major client publicly declaring his

dissatisfaction with conventional advertising solutions. What’s more, he

has put his faith in a company he clearly believes to be ’one of us’ and

itself a product of the medium it will promote.



Brook’s decision is the latest alarming manifestation of the discontent

within the client community that agencies are paying lip-service to

change.



An army of planners refining the creative brief through mass

interrogation of the brand is too often presented as the answer to every

problem.



Brook doesn’t need anybody to interrogate his product. He just wants

somebody to sell it. And he doesn’t need elaborate answers to questions

he has no need to ask.



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