All this information superhighway stuff is clearly endangering the
commercial faculties of famous clients. Give some people a PC and,
before you know it, they think they're the next Stephen Hawking,
unravelling the mysteries of the advertising universe with a laptop and
A certain client has come up with a witty wheeze to launch a new agency
on the internet - hire an actor, pretend he's working for a start-up
called Bing! Bang! Boom! in Sydney, arm him with a secret camera and
have him visit London agencies and ask to take snaps in their reception
areas "for my personal photograph album, because I love British
So what did the exercise say about the agencies involved? Bartle Bogle
Hegarty said no, and don't think you can even get past the downstairs
security guard without an invitation. J. Walter Thompson said yes,
implying we're corporate and proud to have a picture of the Commodore in
M&C Saatchi said no, perhaps because it ordered a Schrager hotel
reception by mistake. Saatchi &Saatchi said yes but just wait until you
see the new one. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO said no, and muttered scary
things about copyright issues if by some slim chance a client's work
were to sneak into the shot.
Mother said maybe later and a bemused staffer crept back into the agency
caravan. Lowe Lintas said no, but invited the tourist to have a look
behind the scenes. It's lucky that Wieden & Kennedy has moved for
although it said yes it didn't appear to have a reception. And St Luke's
was too busy announcing over the Tannoy that Karen and Tracey's birthday
cake was about to be dished up.
The advantages to this exercise are manifest. First, you can make
serious points about agency culture for, as we all know, clients can
judge an agency by the welcome they get (or don't get) at reception.
Second, rather than spend £11,750 on a colour DPS in Campaign to
launch your agency, you can do it for nothing on the Diary page. And the
identity of the client? All will be revealed in due course.