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
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
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
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.