It wouldn't be the first Campaign of the year without some serious
predictions, so here are a range covering various aspects of the
advertising industry. WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell says when we should
expect a recovery, while D&AD's David Kester and Campaign's editor,
Caroline Marshall, explain which agencies they think will dominate
Isabel Bird of Bird & Co looks at who will become famous. Finally, Jim
Surguy of Results Business Consulting predicts what mergers and
acquisitions activity awaits us in 2002.
WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell on the timing of an economic
recovery 2002 will be another difficult year but not as difficult as
2001, particularly during the period after the material adverse change
of 11 September. I do not believe we are in an "A-", "U-", "W-" or
"Japanese L- shaped" recession.
One likely possibility is what the stock markets seem to be predicting -
a "V-shaped" recession with a recovery in the second half of 2002,
stimulated by the fiscal and monetary policies of governments on both
sides of the Atlantic.
Having gone to war, stimulative economic policies are crucial.
The alternative is we will see slower growth post-11 September as
terrorism is a tax on globalisation. In other words, the economic growth
curve for the world economy will be lower following those terrible
events, although they probably should be seen in a continuum from Suez
in 1956 through the oil price increases of the 70s and the Gulf War. The
West has been singularly unable or unwilling to understand the Muslim
mind - a situation which must change to develop political and economic
stability. Charlotte Beers has a crucial and challenging task.
I favour the latter scenario. While I am not pessimistic, I think the
recovery will be slower than the stock markets indicate. I see nothing
to date that indicates any recovery. After all, the 90s witnessed ten
years of unprecedented growth, which will be difficult to replicate. If
anything, following the biblical parable, we had seven very fat years
and will have seven thinner ones.
Results Business Consulting managing director Jim Surguy on mergers and
acquisitions With major new business a rarity and spends declining, cost
control and growth by acquisition would appear to be the principal
weapons in the armoury, particularly of the big battalions. But to
achieve quality deals, buyers need strong share prices, spare cash or
Agency share prices are significantly down, however, meaning it takes
more shares for a deal, making deals more expensive. IPG, Omnicom and
WPP all have less cashflow and more debt than a year ago so it is no
surprise that the deal rate seriously slowed in 2001.
We predict that this is but a hiccup in an ever-continuing trend in
industry consolidation. As 2002 progresses, the majors will have
streamlined and restructured. To sustain share prices, they will
continue to build by acquisition. Selectivity will be the touchstone:
quality not quantity.
The mid-size players such as Cordiant and Grey, who are not big enough
to compete in the global market, will probably find buyers, and
approaches to the remaining sizeable independent agencies will further
diminish their number.
We will probably see more mergers among small independents for
cost-saving and skill synergy reasons, as the business climate improves
later in 2002.
Deal making will continue in 2002: growth by acquisition is a permanent
feature of the marcoms industry. It will, however, be at a lower level
than the past two years.
Chief executive of Bird & Co Isabel Bird on who will become famous Lee
Daley, the new chief executive of Red Cell Worldwide, will bring
together strategy and creativity and lead a global company which will
change how "ad agencies" do business with clients.
William Eccleshare, the former chief executive of Ammirati Puris Lintas,
having joined McKinsey as a partner in its branding practice, has now
learned brand strategy from the top down. He has seen the business from
both sides of the fence and could bring a valuable perspective back into
the advertising world.
St Luke's former managing director David Abrahams' move to Discovery
Networks as a general manager is part of a growing trend. He saw the
challenge as adding brand strategy to a creative process, allowing
Discovery to be more effective with consumers.
D&AD chief executive David Kester on creative quality in 2002 Question:
how to write a Campaign creative prediction while protecting own back
and reputation for neutrality? Answer: fall back on the industry's own
judgments in this year's D&AD Annual. On Sunday night (sad) I trawled
through the Book and noted all the agencies which achieved multiple and
significant entries. About 20 advertising agencies really shine, so I
narrowed the field by culling those whose presence depended on one
campaign or client.
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO maintains a strong showing, as does Bartle
Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi, Lowe, Leagas Delaney and Saatchi & Saatchi.
On the strongest newcomer front, Fallon is looking good, and there are
some notable single campaign triumphs such as Mustoe Merriman Levy for
But the verdict of the good book is unequivocal. Three agencies have the
creative firepower to pepper all sections. If we are to judge simply on
volume TBWA/London puts in a bravura performance (PlayStation, Oddbins,
Science Museum, The Big Issue, Le Creuset). Leo Burnett throws down the
gauntlet, demonstrating that it can break new creative ground for big
global brands. Mother wins the plaudits for innovation and its ability
to cross disciplines. Can I remove tin hat now?
Campaign editor Caroline Marshall on which agencies will soar creatively
in 2002 I'm tasked with a truly fearsome brief: which agencies will set
the creative agenda in 2002? In other words, if I were a prospect with a
sizzling creative assignment, which agencies would I want to know
I'll start with one of the smaller contenders. And they don't come much
smaller than CDD, which has cast off its Testa links, picked up Peter
Mead as an unofficial chairman and won Mercedes-Benz as its founding
My view on Dave Dye, Sean Doyle and Walter Campbell, the creative
partners, is they will turn this trophy launch account into something
Moving on to the big league, I know that BBH has some fascinating plans
up its sleeve which will kick into touch old definitions of where
advertising starts and stops. I hope for a creative resurgence at BMP
DDB which has been side-tracked by business losses.
The easiest prediction is that Mother will continue to set the creative
pace in the mid-sized agency territory. We can all spot a zany Mother ad
a mile off but it's easy to forget that with every campaign it offers a
bespoke answer to clients' needs, not ready-made solutions or
But what else would you expect from Campaign's Agency of the Year?