Older advertising lags maintain there is nothing new in the
business; that every development has a precedent - usually in the 70s
here, or the 60s in the US; and that adland remains exactly as it has
been for the past 25 years.
Campaign might beg to differ. The apparently inexorable trend of global
centralisation has given rise to a relatively new phenomenon whereby a
network will handle work created by the small, sexy, local agency around
the region, if not the world.
Remove ’sexy’ from the above sentence and you have a situation that
already exists within many networks. There are invariably lead agency
offices that create the bulk of international work within their own
London is often the beneficiary, largely because many regional client
headquarters are situated here. London’s creative reputation is a
factor, but a secondary influence.
However, in the past it was also obvious that it would be a
McCann-Erickson or a Grey that would act as a handling network for
outsiders. First, they have the best coverage of offices, and second,
they could be described as the most pragmatic of networks. Now, anything
goes. Even a creatively renowned group like Lowe is hardly going to
decline to run Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe’s Vauxhall/Opel Astra launch
work across Europe. Not when, together with McCanns, it has the rest of
the business, and not having last year picked up the Saab account from
the same General Motors Europe.
Some might point to Nike handing Wieden & Kennedy the means to launch in
the UK as a time-honoured development, but today’s difference is Wieden
need not be in every market to create the Nike work for the region.
It’s foolish to imagine that these moves represent any halt in the march
of globalisation, but what they show is that within these seemingly
impregnable worldwide relationships there is, for a host of reasons,
room for a little leeway - in Rainey Kelly’s case, pounds 30 million