No great shock about ‘ad’ wins

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I read “Between the lines” (MW July 24) with great interest and was pleased to hear some of the details of the recent “advertising wins” achieved by WWAV Rapp Collins and Rapier Stead & Bowden. I applaud the courage to reject “safe” appointments made on a functional basis and the redundant assumption that only ad agencies can create effective messages and place them within the media effectively.

However, I do start to wonder when I will stop reading such revelations delivered in such incredulous tones. Surely the days of “big agency” dominance have been “on the slide” since the day that simple folk like us could go and buy media, commercial production and even strategy from wherever we chose.

After all, we have been witnessing “virtual” agencies go into production, sales promotion agencies producing TV work and even clients producing their own work in-house, for some time now.

Perhaps we’ve got the names wrong. Why (call me stupid if you like) do we assert that the many millions of pounds worth of direct marketing work done by Rapier Stead & Bowden every year is not a form of brand advertising in itself? Because it is not through a traditional “paid-for media” and probably has a “promotional message” within it? Surely nowadays, in the age of “integrated communications” all sorts of consumer interface are the brand media and all messages inform the brand building process. When does a TV ad become a sales promotion? When it offers specific added value? Or is it vice versa?

Could it be that this debate is going through the “shaggy dog story” phase?

Mark Joy

Business development director

The Ingram Agency

London W1

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here


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