EDITORIAL: Agencies must learn to accept global decisions

BMP DDB knew as much about landing the Compaq business last week as it did about losing Walkers the week before. The shift of Frito-Lay’s dollars 200 million out of the DDB network into BBDO, and DDB’s snatching of the dollars 300 million Compaq account from Ammirati Puris Lintas, took place in New York. The rest of the world proved to be bit players - the joyful beneficiaries or chastened losers in events largely beyond their control.

BMP DDB knew as much about landing the Compaq business last week as

it did about losing Walkers the week before. The shift of Frito-Lay’s

dollars 200 million out of the DDB network into BBDO, and DDB’s

snatching of the dollars 300 million Compaq account from Ammirati Puris

Lintas, took place in New York. The rest of the world proved to be bit

players - the joyful beneficiaries or chastened losers in events largely

beyond their control.



Compaq is a big blow for APL. It was one of the major sources of global

glue that, since the merger, has enabled the network to be sold as

Ammirati rather than Lintas to staff and prospective clients alike.

Winning the European Compaq business from Bates was presented as a

recognition of a serious improvement in quality across the

Continent.



Regardless of that hype, APL in Europe can’t be held responsible for the

loss. As for BMP DDB in London, Walkers is the kind of account that

makes people get out of bed to go to work. An unqualified success by

whatever measure.



Compaq is scant recompense to anyone except the finance director. BMP,

still smarting two years after being forced to give up Scottish Courage

for Budweiser, becomes a little more DDB in the meantime. The process by

which this happens is, to some degree, inevitable in a service

business.



Walkers, once a family-run, Leicester-based company, is now owned by

Frito-Lay, which is owned by PepsiCo. The Compaq account (held by APL)

only came up for grabs after the client’s mega-deal with the Digital

Equipment Corporation (DDB’s client). Depending on what you read, Compaq

is now the world’s largest supplier of PCs.



The world of business has changed.It has become global. In the context

of that change the British ad industry has much to lose in terms of

creative opportunities derived from enjoying the benefits of a local

client. But it also has much to gain, at least in terms of influence and

as a revenue centre, from becoming the pre-eminent regional hub.



It would be ridiculous to suggest that the ad industry would not have to

change in line with global big business. Painful as it is for

individuals busting a gut in a local agency, we are all part of the same

wider world of commerce today. You either choose to accept that, or you

don’t. But when you go to work in your local office, don’t forget it.



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