EDITORIAL: Industry actions speak louder than IPA PR outfit

David Abbott is a natural choice for any pool of spokespeople into which broadcasters and journalists could tap for informed and articulate comment on advertising issues.

David Abbott is a natural choice for any pool of spokespeople into

which broadcasters and journalists could tap for informed and articulate

comment on advertising issues.



The quiet authority of the Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO chairman doesn’t

make him the sort the tabloids will turn to for a soundbite. His

strength comes from a belief that advertising is an honourable

occupation. AMV’s success is proof of client’s respect for such views

when powerfully put.



Now the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising wants to extend the

rapport between agency chiefs and their clients to the public stage

through a panel of media-friendly industry experts. It’s a welcome move.

There have already been too many incidents of embarrassment when the

industry has been asked to justify itself to the media. Patronising

performances by the likes of Peter Marsh on Radio 4’s the Moral Maze

last year. serve only to trigger memories among older clients of agency

dinosaurs who used to land in the factory car park by helicopter to take

a brief.



Putting a stop to gaffes like that is something the IPA’s soon-to-be

appointed PR agency will have to confront. More client company heads

come from financial rather than marketing backgrounds. They’re

suspicious of agencies selling intangible products and convinced that

the industry has an over-inflated opinion of its effectiveness.



However, it will never be enough for the industry to talk a good

game.



Actions speak louder than words and reports of shops forced to sack half

their staff to stave off financial ruin tell clients more than any

glossily-presented PR could.



Discomfort is preferable to disregard



If there’s ever a time Campaign journos would like to bring forward the

annual staff holiday to the Galapagos Islands, it’s the week our Top 300

Agencies report appears. There are few calls congratulating us on our

perception and sagacity. Usually callers bitch about their agency’s

lousy score.



But a word of comfort for those to whom we were less than

complimentary.



Sorry we had to mention those account losses and the creative director

coll-ecting his P45. It’s better than being ignored. Nothing in the ad

business could be worse than that.



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