Media: Double Standards - The quintessential new model media men

A return to the full-service agency model isn't a favoured option but two media men talk about why working closely with ad agencies has its advantages.

TIM ALLNUTT - MANAGING PARTNER, NAKED INSIDE

- What do your friends at media agencies think about you working in an ad agency?

All three of them are really positive about it! When the opportunity to start Naked Inside came up two years ago, the chance to create a new venture between Naked and Clemmow Hornby Inge, two of the best brands in the business, was too good a chance to miss.

- What convinced you that working within an ad agency is the correct model?

I don't think it was about working within an ad agency per se; it was more about marrying what Naked offers with CHI's belief in big ideas, which is much more interesting and allows brands to live way beyond advertising. Ad agencies tend to have far nicer offices too!

- Is it a model you think will become the norm in the next few years?

No, not the norm, although other creative agencies are increasingly trying to replicate the model. There's a big difference between placing comms thinking at the heart of the creative process where we can help to inform the creative brief, and simply getting media people to ripple the ad campaign, where the motive for reintroducing media people is more about helping to sell the advertising. But having said that, I think there's room in the market for a variety of different models in media and creative.

- What are the downsides in your role?

It's bloody hard work! And I still get asked how much a spot in Coronation Street costs - didn't know the answer to that when I worked in a media agency, let alone now.

- What recent campaign are you most proud of and why?

Probably the Talk Talk campaign - a good example of a strong big idea, a successful integrated comms solution and great creative work, which has all helped to grow the client's business. But, of course, I'm immensely proud of all our work.

- How different are people in ad agencies compared with media agencies?

The main difference is the wider variety of people and the creativity of the thinking that exists in the creative agency.

- Who has impressed you recently?

My family; how they put up with me I'll never know!

- Do you yearn for a return to the full-service agency model?

Not the old model. While it was fun at the time, the model was fundamentally broken, as it was singularly based on the production and processing of advertising. And, as the media planner, only having five minutes at the end of a pitch, if there was time, to sell the benefits of what you did was always a frustration.

- What's the best thing about your job?

Working with and learning from some very clever people.

- What was the best night out you've had recently?

Judging by the picture above, it looks like the night before this was taken was a big one!

ENYI NWOSU - MANAGING PARTNER, TBWA\CONNECTIONS

- What do your friends at media agencies think about you working in an ad agency?

I found that most of my friends who had experienced working in full-service agencies thought it was a good thing. They remember ad agencies as being fun and energetic places to work, alongside account planners and creatives etc. There was more scepticism among friends who hadn't come through the full-service model.

- What convinced you that working within an ad agency is the correct model?

It's not the model of one business against the other. I just enjoy working in an environment with talented and interesting people who want to develop ideas and challenge the norm.

- Is it a model you think will become the norm in the next few years?

For me, it isn't about models. It isn't the model at TBWA that, for example, develops the great PlayStation and Apple work or the Bartle Bogle Hegarty model that developed the Lynx work. It's the talented people who work within all those different types of agencies. It's great ideas and energetic people who make a difference. They can sit anywhere.

- What are the downsides in your role?

We are all so used to bouncing ideas around with people who have the same knowledge base and skill-set that it was a bit strange in my first few months not to have that. Now I see it as a positive. I mean,who is going to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to media!

- What recent campaign are you most proud of and why?

The launch of Easy Living for Conde Nast. I was very pleased to have the chance to develop a fully integrated communication strategy, working alongside WCRS and MG OMD. The other is launching a photographic competition and exhibition for Seeds of Change.

- How different are people in ad agencies compared with media agencies?

There are more similarities than differences. Both are entrepreneurial and ideas-driven etc. There is one fundamental difference: if a client asked a media person whether something could be done or not, their answer would be yes and they would go away and make it happen. The same question to an ad agency person is more likely to get a response of we'll go away and investigate and come back to you. Both effective, one is more ballsy, the other more purist.

- Who has impressed you recently?

Neil Hourston, the planning director at TBWA. Brilliant at his job.

- Do you yearn for a return to the full-service agency model?

The only thing I yearn for is Peter Magnani to buy me the lunch he promised.

- What's the best thing about your job?

I learn something new every day. I get to work with some really interesting people and brands.

- What was the best night out you've had recently?

I know you are also talking to Tim Allnutt. We had a joint leaving do among other very big nights out. A very, very dangerous man! I'm going to play this one very safe ... the party for my wife's 30th Birthday a couple of weeks ago. It was also her first really big night in terms of having a drink after the birth of our first son.

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