They are a below-the-line shop and every time they present new creative, they always seem to have somehow slipped a brand ad into their presentation. Weird.
They say it's only "to illustrate the holistic nature of the idea", but we all know what they're trying to do - broaden their scope and win some of our business.
They're so bad at actual advertising they don't stand a chance. I just happened to be at our client's office for an unrelated-to-their-presentation meeting and the client invited us in to their meeting. The look on their faces when the ad agency turned up to participate and they knew they were presenting print was classic.
The headlines were ill-punctuated written representations of an array of catered turd sandwiches. Oh, and they didn't use the brand tagline (not that something like a tagline is important or anything). I couldn't help but laugh ... and then trying to cover it up ... and ending up giving myself a coughing fit.
Agencies of the world, hear me now - below the line, search engine optimisation, brochures, PR, promotions etc are an important part of the marketing mix but you're in no way capable of doing the heavy lifting of brand building. Most traditional below the line is product selling, not brand building. And that's cool; products do need to be sold, last I checked ... just doesn't really prepare you to do this advertising thing. It's harder than it looks.