You won’t get far in neutral

Chris Lovell makes a nice try at reviving the media neutral theme (MW January 27), but surely it is time this particular business pitch was put to rest.

No agency can provide a media neutral service. As a specialist in brand design, you soon learn that the subject is not one that other types of agency are qualified or even interested in. Too often, design is bought tactically and shoe-horned into strategy almost as an afterthought, frequently to the detriment of the campaign, the client and the results.

This is ironic because design is the cornerstone on which all communication is based. But design agencies are rarely invited to sit at the strategic table.

I suspect this happens because many marketers believe they have enough to consider and another agency contributing to planning will not make life any easier. However, good design can significantly improve the look, feel and impact of campaigns.

Integrated agencies are happy to have a go at producing design guidelines, but without concern for the impact on the brand.

So please, let’s not go down the “we can do it all” road again. Clients need agencies that provide excellence at what they do best. Anything else is a compromise.

James Cheetham



London SE1

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