Agencies play musical chairs

No less than three agency partners advised me of changes to their account teams this week. Only time will tell if their ever-changing teams will finally bed down and settle for long enough to conceive, create and indeed analyse the results of a particular campaign before shooting off to their next assignment.

We are often accused of perpetrating an 18-month brand manager culture, but this length of tenure is close to long service award medal territory when compared with our agency cousins.

Rather worryingly, the most frequent contact I receive from a senior partner at one of our agencies is his bi-monthly bulletin of staff changes. His script has become hopelessly predictable and goes something like this: “Dear favourite highly valued client. After an impressive four-month stint on your account, we are pleased to announce that Jonny has proved rather more capable than we thought and we shall therefore be moving him to one of our bigger accounts.

“Jonny will be making the switch as of last Friday but is committed to managing a highly detailed handover. I am sure you will agree that Jonny has made a massive impact on your business in a very short time. As an agency, we believe in nurturing the best industry talent and I am sure you will support my decision to move Jonny off your business. I believe that this is one of those rare occasions when it is best for him, best for our agency and actually best for you too.

“Jonny’s departure means you are incredibly fortunate to have Jonny 2 lead your account. Jonny 2 joined us a week ago last Thursday and has already convinced me that he has the potential to be an outstanding account leader. In fact, we think he may actually have more depth and upside potential than Jonny 1 and I am delighted he is cutting his teeth on your business.

“I must ask my PA to get a date in your diary as I would also like to brief you on some changes to our creative and planning departments that will only serve to further strengthen our relationship.

“Thanks for your continued support of the agency. I look forward to seeing you over the coming months, most probably at the Christmas party, but potentially sooner if we win any awards. Yours, Jonny Snr, group region board account director and head of agency talent roster.”

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