PERSPECTIVE: Clients will pay for great ads but not for all the ’extras’

Will we ever stop hearing about the end of the traditional advertising agency? I take you now to the editor’s office on Tuesday at 4pm where the news conference for this week’s issue is just getting underway.

Will we ever stop hearing about the end of the traditional

advertising agency? I take you now to the editor’s office on Tuesday at

4pm where the news conference for this week’s issue is just getting

underway.



News editor: OK, newshounds - what have we got?



Reporter 1: ’I’ve got a great story about a new agency, a best-advice

ideas hot-house. Leaflets, in-house communications, PR, events, DRTV -

you name it, they’ll do it at half the price of any top 20 agency.’



Reporter 2: ’I’ve got a story about an account man who’s just been

fired.



He’s setting up Outside the Box, a media neutral strategic

greenhouse.



All freelance staff, of course, but says he’s got a few unnamed big

clients gagging to work with him.’



Reporter 3: ’One of my contacts is launching an agency called Stretch

the Budget, one-stop shopping to orchestrate the full range of

communications solutions. Five hundred quid for five budget-enhancing

ideas - strictly project basis, of course.’



News editor: ’It all sounds very ten years ago. Any other stories?’



I exaggerate, but the rush to claim a new positioning does seem to be

getting out of hand. Apart from Dan Wieden - who said on launching his

agency in London: ’We’re led by the idea that we do great creative work’

- is anyone brave enough to launch an agency to create brilliant

advertising?



At this, hands trembling with venom are sure to reach for pen and

vitriol to castigate me for daring to criticise through-the-liners. This

would be to misunderstand Campaign’s current thinking on the issue.

Until a few years ago, the belief that advertising was the gold standard

persisted here, certainly to the extent of defying client thinking on

the issue.



In 1993, we published what now appear to be logic-defying statements of

advertising agencies ’meekly submitting to the plastic daffodil

syndrome’ and that ’the diversion of advertising budgets into

below-the-line activities is a wrong turning in which agencies have been

complicit by default’.



But that was then. These days, we accept and endorse the case for

integrated communications, as is evident from the second Campaign Direct

awards which appear with this week’s issue. Congratulations to Evans

Hunt Scott, Cable & Wireless and Safeway’s former relationship marketing

supremo, Stephen Taylor, who pick up the plaudits. But our choice of

winners suggests that we still believe in the value of specialists, and

this point is made all the time by the specialists themselves. One

reason for this is that we find little evidence that service companies

whose primary skill is advertising can charge clients realistically for

providing secondary skills such as direct marketing, or vice versa.

Anyone want to prove otherwise?



Stefano Hatfield is on holiday.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

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).