Campaign Diary: Advertising’s greatest secrets forever failing to fall into right hands

Readers who are forever toiling to see and be seen at the Ivy, bribing journalists and filming AAR reels, will be surprised to hear that many people appear to take pride in the obscurity of their agency.

Readers who are forever toiling to see and be seen at the Ivy,

bribing journalists and filming AAR reels, will be surprised to hear

that many people appear to take pride in the obscurity of their

agency.



Take, for example, the emetic press release issued by the sales

promotion outfit, Interfocus, last week, lauding not only the prodigious

talents of its new managing director, Stuart Leach, but also the

agency’s staggering track record. Leach proudly declares: ’Interfocus

has got to be the agency world’s best-kept secret.’



He is not alone in this proclamation. In October 1998, Mainardo de

Nardis, then the new chief executive of CIA Medianetwork, said of his

new home: ’CIA is the best-kept secret in the industry.’



Ditto William Eccleshare, who, as the chief executive of Ammirati Puris

Lintas, said in July 1998 that ’APL’s interactive capability has been

the best-kept secret in the business.’ (Unfortunately, this particular

secret appeared also to have been kept from the APL client, Compaq,

which moved its digital business into DDB Needham Worldwide that same

year.)



Then there’s Stephen Whyte, who, as the new managing director of Leo

Burnett in 1997, gurgled with delight: ’Burnett is one of the best-kept

secrets in London.’



Or Simon Clark, talking about ’the best agency you’ve never heard of’

(that’s Clark Hooper, in case you were wondering).



And Hugh Salmon, CM Lintas’s long-awaited new managing director in 1995,

pronouncing (no prizes for guessing): ’CM Lintas is the best-kept secret

in London.’



With this level of cloak and dagger about the business, it is a wonder

that these agencies stay in the top ten. Oh, sorry, they don’t.



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