The agency has completely gone off-piste… Are these the same guys that weeks earlier appeared to be surefire winners?

I have just returned from a meeting with our design agency. We recently appointed it after a pitch process to revamp one of our most established brands. I am not sure that there is anything fundamentally wrong with the positioning of the brand, but the packaging looks a little outdated and is in need of some tender loving care to restore it to former glories.

The product’s brand team has done a great job with the brief and at the pitch meeting the chosen agency appeared to completely grasp the task in hand, building our confidence that these were the right people for the job. As a result, I was looking forward to seeing the first round of creative work.

But what I have just seen is hugely disappointing. The agency has completely gone off-piste. I am stunned. Are these the same guys that weeks earlier appeared to be surefire winners?

The people are the same, the brief is completely unchanged, but something remarkable has changed between the pitch meeting and its first meeting as our appointed agency.

I fear that the answer is pretty simple. In securing the business, the agency paid great attention to the brief and our challenges. Having been awarded the business, the agency allowed its creative team to pay lip-service to everything that has gone before and ride roughshod over the process.

“The agency has completely gone off-piste… Are these the same guys that weeks earlier appeared to be surefire winners?”

If I were the account director for this agency, I would be mortified and embarrassed by today’s meeting. It appears that a dysfunctional group who on today’s showing are about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory has replaced the responsive listening agency that won the business.

Even midway through the meeting, things were looking remarkably positive. The seemingly sensible account director and even more reassuringly commercially minded planner presented a convincing PowerPoint preamble. With every page presented, I was more confident than ever that these guys really got it.

Then like a bat out of hell, the creative director presents his work. It is from another planet. In a desperate show of unity, his agency colleagues then unashamedly start to hard-sell his completely irrelevant ideas. If I was one of them, I would start my own agency and think about hiring a creative team rather than choosing to work for one.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here