There's no nice way of putting this. But I suspect our newfound earnestness and sobriety are inimical to the business of building great brands. Might we be more valuable to our clients if we worked less and drank more? I might go further. Is the single most valuable function of the ad agency to be a dampener on client activity? To discourage new initiatives? And can it no longer play this role for fear that budgets will simply migrate to those ever so energetic people in new media, promotions or whatever? Would the perfect agency be one so fantastically drunk and obstreperous that the pain of working with them would force clients to focus their entire marketing communications into one or two simple messages? Like the good old days, in fact. Rory Sutherland, www.brandrepublic.com/blogs
THE LAST TO REACT
For an industry that claims to be so forward-thinking, I'm astounded how slow many agencies are to react unless there is a new pitch or a client has threatened to walk. What's funnier is how slow many are in looking after their staff's needs. Every mission statement I've read pays pithy homage to the staff being "their best asset", but when they have a chance to prove it, they're slower than a snail carrying his shopping. Pay rises get held back, vacancies take ages to be filled, job offers take forever to be made, equipment is updated at a rate where it is already obsolete ... you name it, the majority of agencies do it. http://robcampbell.wordpress.com.