Opinion: Perspective - Changes reflect the new advertising business

The story of Campaign is littered with giants. Launched by Michael Heseltine and his business partner Lindsay Masters in 1968, Maurice Saatchi played a part (no- one can quite remember what), Josephine Hart (now an author and Mrs Maurice Saatchi) was the telephone sales manager, and a hungry young Robin Wight wrote the new magazine's promotional material.

Over the years, Campaign has become something of a design icon, every bit as classic as some of the great advertising it has championed along the way. And as anyone who has the pleasure and pain of working with big brands with a big heritage knows, change must be approached with extreme caution.

Welcome to the new-look Campaign. It's been a long time since Campaign had a makeover. Yet each week, our pages are full of new ideas, fresh thinking, diversification, integration, launches, takeovers, and new formations in the jostle for a seat at the client's right hand. Each week, the shape of the communications industry changes a little bit. So this week, Campaign has changed quite a lot.

We've introduced new sections, added extra pages and sharpened our design.

There's more media, more creative work, more international coverage, more colour and a cleaner layout. Because media agencies and media owners are increasingly at the forefront of new strategic thinking and smart new commercial opportunities, we've increased the breadth and depth of our media section. But because media fragmentation and the competition for commercial cut-through mean that brilliantly creative ads matter more than ever, we've created a new section, "The Work", which is devoted to the latest campaigns. And no-one needs reminding that this is now a resolutely international business, so we've also sharpened our focus on news and insight from the key overseas markets.

If there is an underlining thought beneath all of these changes, it's to better celebrate creativity in all its forms across the communications mix (from creative and media agencies, to digital and direct marketing agencies and media owners). But the commercial realities faced by the advertising and media industries have never been more pronounced - effectiveness and value have never been more crucial - so we also aim to recognise the real business issues that all this great creativity is designed to address. I hope you like what you have seen so far.

On the subject of change, it will be interesting to see how quickly the new management line-up at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R fills the shoes of its predecessors. As MT Rainey and Jim Kelly prepare to quit the agency they founded in 1993, the company faces a cultural conundrum that is rapidly characterising the UK ad industry. Building upon a successful entrepreneurial culture and keeping up the pace and passion of an agency once the founders move on is now a common challenge faced by the new generation of agency managers.

From HHCL to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, PHD, MG OMD, Proximity and Draft, coping with the transition has proved to be demanding. All too often, the new management team is compared unfavourably with their entrepreneurial, risk-taking predecessors and it takes time to adjust to the shift away from the big owner-manager personalities of the previous regime.

Yet in many respects, this period of adjustment is as much a factor of the changing pressures on the business as it is the changing of the guard.

There is a little less room for flamboyancy now, for the showy and the theatrical. Certainly, the advertising business seems to accommodate big colourful personalities less comfortably than it did a decade or two ago; performance matters more than personality.

So it's to the great credit of the newer managers of the established agencies that the advertising business is an ever-more stimulating, energising and exciting place to work. Change can be good.


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