Congratulations to Grant Duncan (MW August 11). He tells us ad agencies have to change their 1950s ways, adapt to multi-channel strategies and, what is more, that his agency has succeeded in this. With an open plan office to boot.
This all appears very laudable, as does the “media neutral” stance adopted by many below-the-line agencies, but the reality is that the majority of any agency’s income comes from whatever discipline its senior partners practised five or more years ago. There is simply not enough money around for agencies to have real expertise in all channels.
Being a practitioner in brand experience marketing, this is something I am very aware of because we simply do not get calls from agency media or strategy planners. This is despite the fact that brand experience communication is now accepted as the most cost-effective way of generating brand trial and brand switching. It is rarely, if ever, considered by agency planners because they have not learned about it, or they have to sell clients in-house services.
In an ideal world, all agencies would be skilled in every medium and technique, but they are not. Instead, they should embrace the time- honoured tradition of brand owners picking the best agency for a given job.