ISBA Conference: Wall lambasts Hinton over commission system views

The leader of Britain’s agency trade body was accused at the conference of having lost touch with reality by advocating a return to the commission system.

The leader of Britain’s agency trade body was accused at the

conference of having lost touch with reality by advocating a return to

the commission system.



Graham Hinton, president of the Institute of Practitioners in

Advertising, was taken to task along with Andrew Robertson, the Abbott

Mead Vickers BBDO managing director, for failing to understand what was

happening in the market.



The double broadside was fired by Michael Wall, the Fallon McElligott

managing partner.



It was sparked by Hinton’s claim in Campaign (12 February) that no

payment by results system was superior to commission for remunerating

agencies and Robertson’s rubbishing of the perceived threat of

management consultants to agencies’ business.



Robertson said: ’Consumers don’t change their behaviour because of a

strategy dreamed up by a management consultant. They change behaviour

because of ads.’



But Wall told delegates: ’What both these viewpoints are indicative of

is a resistance to understanding the prevailing market conditions and

the product and service we offer in them.’



Wall claimed the ’defensiveness’ of both executives was a direct result

of advertising’s recent history. ’I don’t believe its role or validity

was ever really questioned until the start of this decade when the

recession started to bite, expenditure declined, people got fired and

immediate results were mandatory.’



And he accused agencies of trying to justify themselves by establishing

spurious points of difference rather than submerging all their efforts

into building clients’ brands whatever the economic climate.



’Building a brand has become defined by agencies as the preserve of

long-term activity and achieved through a 90-second commercial,’ he

said. ’And clients have fuelled this because they have used their

agencies as suppliers of ads, not as partners.’



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