Why a new planning agency has nothing but pure intentions

It's good to see that some of rock music's greats are finally cashing in on their fame. Last week, Universal Music announced that it is taking on the marketing of the Sex Pistols' back catalogue with a brief to "fully maximise the value" of songs such as Pretty Vacant and Anarchy in the UK by selling them to advertisers.

Johnny Rotten and co are apparently open to all offers but favour approaches from advertisers with "kudos and creativity - iPods, MP3 players, technology, mobile phones, luxury cars and sports brands".

Meanwhile, it seems that Ray Davies and his fellow Kinks are set for a £6 million windfall after licensing their tunes for use in US ads. Procter & Gamble has snapped up All Day and All of the Night to lift sales of Tide detergent while I'm Not Like Everybody Else is backing an IBM commercial.

And why not? There's nothing wrong with a bit of extra- curricular activity, something that media agencies realised long ago. Most modern media agencies resemble Tesco - you can buy a bit of everything and all under one roof.

Critics argue that this annoys some advertisers and that media agencies often have their priorities in the wrong place, selling services that clients don't really want to buy from them while losing sight of providing creative and effective media planning and buying.

This is the sort of thought that underpins the launch of yet another communications planning agency. Edwards Groom Saunders (the former Starcom directors Pete Edwards, Jez Groom and Will Saunders) effectively went live last week after Edwards completed his stint on gardening leave.

The new agency's supposed point of difference in the comms planning market is combining creativity with effectiveness. The argument is that big networks have not pushed hard enough in these areas and often get away with ill-judged buying decisions while smaller comms planning agencies have not managed to get their heads around demonstrating the results and effectiveness of their activity.

Interestingly, the start-up's ambitions are big - it argues that it can get behind some big communications activity by persuading large advertisers to sign off additional marketing spend because Edwards, Groom and/or Saunders can demonstrate that it will work.

The one thing counting against Edwards Groom Saunders is the argument that they don't have the big tools possessed by larger agencies. There is a way around that, through using other suppliers and their own extensive knowledge of research models, but many advertisers remain reluctant to sign over the big stuff to small start-ups.

Still, it's good to see someone new on the scene trying to make their own music. Let's just hope advertisers buy it.