The agency is hoping to drive down costs for its clients by controlling its own contracts with creative suppliers, rather than going through production companies. BBH has something of a control culture operating at its Kingly Street offices, and it's in keeping with this sentiment that the agency should want to cut out the middleman where possible.
This threatens an important source of income for the production houses, so it comes as little wonder they have clubbed together to try to prevent BBH from succeeding. After all, if BBH gets new terms, it won't be long before other agencies demand their own new contracts.
Steve Davies, the chief executive of the Advertising Producers Association, is using the right argument when he states that production company mark-ups are nothing to be ashamed of, and that there's nothing wrong with turning a profit.