Your article on Grey’s appointment of former Orange procurement chief Tina Fegent (MW August 7) struck a chord with me, not least because I have been working within the MCCA to educate members on procurement issues for some months now. I also came from the client side, having served for several years as Whitbread’s group marketing procurement manager, and I wholeheartedly approve of Grey chief executive Garry Lace’s reasoning behind the appointment of Fegent.
Procurement, and payment by results, have been hot topics within the industry for some time now, and although many agencies have seemed to balk at the idea of procurement specialists and all they stand for, I feel that for the majority it is time to realise that procurement is here to stay.
The fact that Lace is facing up to this issue is admirable. Yes, agencies can be wary of the procurement process, but this can be because they often expect it to happen over too short a period, and with the deck already stacked. Senior marketing people rarely bring their procurement colleague on board until late in the process – often, in fact, when they have committed to an agency and then found that their projected costs have burst their budget ceiling. The whole process is concertinaed, and measurement processes are not thought through.
With procurement professionals on board from the start, and in particular those who specialise in marketing services, there is less room for mistakes and hopefully, in time, a stronger bond and trust between client and agency can be formed as the relationship becomes unambiguous.
Portfolio service manager