EDITORIAL: Leagas Shafron paid for being in middle ground

Last week’s decision by bankers to pull the plug on Leagas Shafron Davis, forcing the agency into administrative receivership, provides a chilling reminder of how swiftly the world is closing in on middle-ranking shops.

Last week’s decision by bankers to pull the plug on Leagas Shafron

Davis, forcing the agency into administrative receivership, provides a

chilling reminder of how swiftly the world is closing in on

middle-ranking shops.



Leagas Shafron’s failure to capture the pounds 15 million merged account

of Sun Alliance and Royal Insurance - and its failure to take corrective

action quickly enough - proved how vulnerable the middle ground is to

the ebb and flow of commerce.



The harsh truth is that the advertising business is polarising faster

than ever. At one end, the world’s biggest agency networks are being

forced to restructure themselves to mirror the consolidation taking

place within client companies. At the other, the niche players and

hotshops are vacuuming up the smaller and more entrepreneurial

advertisers.



For those agencies stuck in between, there is serious risk of attack not

only from the agency battleships but from the small and fast creative

craft too.



But among middle rankers, the future looks rosier for some than for

others.



The pounds 4 million buyout of Leagas Delaney from its Abbott Mead

Vickers group parent reflects an agency full of confidence and

determination to fulfil its potential on the back of an outstanding

creative reputation.



What of the other high-profile inhabitants such as St Luke’s and Rainey

Kelly Campbell Roalfe?



Both agencies appear to be approaching defining moments in their

evolution.



Their innovative work is luring the kind of business that other shops

would kill for. But the wins put them on a route from which there is no

turning back and from which only alignment with a big and powerful ally

may allow them to complete.



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