EDITORIAL: Why agencies must not ignore the Europe factor

General Motors adds its name to a long list of clients whose increasingly regional operational structure becomes a threat to a major UK account once deemed impregnable (Campaign, last week).

General Motors adds its name to a long list of clients whose

increasingly regional operational structure becomes a threat to a major

UK account once deemed impregnable (Campaign, last week).



One might have said that, for the umpteenth time over the past five

years, an advertising alignment is under consideration that is

relatively little to do with work, but in this case there is clearly a

problem between client and agency that has prevented Lowe Howard-Spink’s

recent output for Vauxhall reaching its former heights.



Not that quality of work is any defence these days. Look at Ogilvy &

Mather, whose extraordinary improvement in the standard of its Ford

advertising (egged on by a challenging local client) has been rewarded

with the loss of brands to Young & Rubicam. The latter agency, it should

be pointed out, has done an equally fine job in creating pan-European

work of distinction.



In car marketing, we see the dilemmas of the wider industry writ large.

Fiat launches its cars on a pan-European basis using some naff work from

Italy, then lets DMB&B London take up the mantle.



The result is charming, underrated advertising for the Coupe and the

Punto.



But Fiat’s pan-European-ness cost Leo Burnett its prized UK Mercedes

account - because of ’a potential conflict somewhere in Europe down the

line’.



Mercedes chooses to put its eggs in a domestic basket. Partners BDDH is

the lucky recipient, but for how long? Barker & Ralston’s loss of the

Saab account highlights just how at the mercy of pan-Europeanisation

smaller agencies are. That’s why (other than money) Paul Simons and

Rupert Howell will forge their deals. It was ever thus, although, in the

past, you only had to ask yourself if you would, or could, handle larger

domestic clients.



No agency with ambition can afford to ignore the Europe factor, the only

solace being found in another old advertising adage: clients get the

work, and agencies get the clients, they deserve.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content