EDITORIAL: A timely reminder in Cadbury results

As if the 3.7 per cent decline in above-the-line spend in 2001

(according to AC Nielsen MMS) wasn't enough, now the industry faces the

likes of Cadbury's chief executive, John Sunderland, proudly attributing

Cadbury's 12 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to a simple text messaging

campaign.



The campaign, created by Triangle and executed by Flytxt, involved a

mobile phone number appearing on the wrappers of 65 million chocolate

bars, encouraging children to enter competitions. A staggering five

million responded and sales grew by 2 per cent accordingly.



The importance of diversifying into non-advertising marketing services

is a drum that has been beating so loudly for so long that no agency

chief executive needs reminding of it, but Sunderland's words do just

that.



Looking at WPP and Omnicom's better-than-expected results last week, the

investment of the major advertising holding companies into other

marketing services has shown how diversification has strengthened bottom

lines that used to rely too heavily on above-the-line

communications.



Nevertheless, there are some client company bosses who do regularly

refer to their above-the-line communications as they announce their

company results - both good and bad. Sainbury's was less than generous

when it squarely blamed its poor financial results two years ago on

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's John Cleese "Value to shout about" television

campaign.



The agency was punished by Sainsbury's addition, albeit temporary, of

M&C Saatchi to its roster. But French Connection's Stephen Marks rarely

makes an announcement without attributing the fashion chain's success to

TBWA/London's advertising and "fcuk" positioning.



However, the greatest praise of all came from Hans Snook during his

years as the chief executive of Orange. He wholeheartedly laid the

success of Orange at the feet of WCRS for its positioning of the brand

and its consistently high creative standards. But his words evaporated

into the ether when the company swapped WCRS for Lowe 18 months ago.



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