NEWS: BACKBITE

One of the things I like about agencies is their eternal optimism. Give them a copy of our feature this week - which reports that 53 per cent of marketers at the UK’s top 3,000 advertisers changed jobs this year and that if a senior marketer moves jobs a review invariably follows - and agencies will, no doubt, say sensible things along the lines of ‘marketing is a training ground that helps produce more rounded clients’ and ‘we need to maintain close contacts at every level of a client organisation’.

One of the things I like about agencies is their eternal optimism. Give

them a copy of our feature this week - which reports that 53 per cent of

marketers at the UK’s top 3,000 advertisers changed jobs this year and

that if a senior marketer moves jobs a review invariably follows - and

agencies will, no doubt, say sensible things along the lines of

‘marketing is a training ground that helps produce more rounded clients’

and ‘we need to maintain close contacts at every level of a client

organisation’.



Some assume that this merry-go-round of marketers has had a direct

effect on standards in advertising. Such people add that there has been

a general levelling-out of standards in the business, that while the

crap is decently executed the cream has gone off a bit, and that we will

never see the likes of the work produced in the 70s again. Doom, gloom

and rubbish.



What is true, is that much of the work that we all rate is the fruit of

long client-agency relationships. Witness Sony, the Economist, Tango,

Levi’s and Nike.



There is nothing much agencies can do about client moves except produce

great work, store up the information and be prepared to act quickly.

Someone has suggested that the Incorporated Society of British

Advertisers/Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s joint initiative

to promote job swapping between advertisers and agencies could keep

ambitious marketers in place for longer. I’m not so sure.



As one agency principal told Campaign recently: ‘I am happy to volunteer

myself for job swapping, so long as the folk left behind don’t mind

being short staffed, the agency can cope without a senior member of

staff for a minimum of three months, the client matches my salary, my

job security is not threatened, oh, and the marketing director doesn’t

move on in the next 18 months, triggering a review and totally wasting

the agency’s time and money.’ Clearly, it’s a great idea.



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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).