OPINION: Agencies remain at the mercy of client politics

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper’s decision to fire Guinness over what it claims is the company’s unprincipled behaviour exposes the reality behind much fine talk about a new rapprochement between agencies and clients.

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper’s decision to fire Guinness over what it claims is

the company’s unprincipled behaviour exposes the reality behind much

fine talk about a new rapprochement between agencies and clients.



Many platitudes have been uttered about how many issues unite rather

than divide the two sides, how the ‘master-servant’ relationship is at

an end and how marketing directors have no right to indulge in virility

displays at the expense of agencies.



While this sounds grand in the afterglow of a good lunch at an all-day

seminar, the new glasnost seems a fragile plant when exposed to the real

world outside. The fact is that agencies are just as vulnerable to the

politics within client companies as ever, and they always will be.



Whether or not Guinness has acted entirely ethically in its dealings

with a roster agency is a matter for the company and its collective

conscience. But the fact that a respected top 20 agency believes it

hasn’t, is worrying.



Guinness is no run-of-the-mill advertiser, but one that has encouraged

innovative work stretching back to the pre-war years. Clients that treat

agencies like doormats quickly get a reputation. Guinness has none.



All of which makes this story even more curious. Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper

has a proven record on Guinness business and was narrowly pipped for the

Guinness Draught Bitter account just six months ago. In Mark Wnek, its

executive creative director, the agency has the driving force behind

some of the most famous Guinness campaigns. Reason enough, you might

think, for keeping faith in the agency’s ability to carry through

successfully the pounds 5 million launch of Kilkenny beer and not brief

another roster shop to shadow it.



Perhaps we can conclude that Euro RSCG’s self-confidence in this matter

is as much to do with business ethics as it is to do with having another

brewer’s budget within its grasp.



Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus