AMV chief shuns consultancy threat

The much-talked-about battle between management consultancies and advertising agencies was this week dismissed as a ’phoney war’ by Andrew Robertson, the managing director of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

The much-talked-about battle between management consultancies and

advertising agencies was this week dismissed as a ’phoney war’ by Andrew

Robertson, the managing director of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.



Speaking on Tuesday evening at a debate organised by the Marketing

Society, Robertson said: ’Consumers don’t change their behaviour because

of a strategy dreamed up by a management consultant, they change

behaviour because of ads.’



He added: ’According to Millward Brown, the gap between the best and

worst performing ads is 4,000 per cent.



’We should concentrate more on producing great ads, charging more for

them and throwing in the thinking - which is a byproduct of the process

of producing an ad - for free. It’s the execution that matters and

agencies should not take their eye off this very valuable ball.’



Speaking for the management consultants, John Zealley, a partner at

Arthur Andersen, said the idea that management consultancies were taking

business away from agencies was ’fundamentally old-fashioned’.



He stated: ’We have to co-exist together. Today’s marketing climate is

characterised by pace of change, time pressure, huge volumes of data and

complexity. What clients therefore need is more consulting skills. Any

brand worth its salt has a retained ad agency.



So why not retain a management consultant?’



Both views fly in the face of the much publicised campaign by Graham

Hinton, the president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising,

to alert agencies to the threat posed by management consultancies.



Hinton has also argued that agencies are mistakenly giving away

strategic thinking, having allowed themselves to be marginalised as

suppliers of ads.



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