The Week: Best of the blogs

Can clients run agencies?

The recent appointments of David Patton at Grey and Neil Simpson at Publicis raise an interesting question. Are clients suited to the agency CEO job? If it's a great idea, why haven't more agencies tried it? - David Wethey

- Agencies are used to compromising to suit the client. The client is not used to compromise, so when they see things from the agencies' point of view, it might be a bit of a shock! - Katrina Doran

They almost always have the sales skills (from spending half their life selling a budget or campaign internally). They sometimes have the skills to inspire great work and the courage to reject the merely good. They almost never have the entrepreneurial flair to create opportunity out of nothing. - CAVE

It depends on the person in question. What is a client? If I was working in an agency, I would rather have an innovative, creative, forward-thinking ex-client than a stuck-in-the-mud, traditional, never-left-the-glory-days-of-the-80s adman running the shop! - Susan Imgrund

It all depends on the specifics, naturally: which agency, which person, what type of CEO role. Suggesting clients almost never have entrepreneurial flair to create opportunities is an interesting if very vague comment. I'm not sure I can agree with it without more explanation and examples. - anonymous.


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