… but its image needs a rethink

I welcome the initiative of Marketing Society chairman Keith Weed in his call to promote the marketing role (MW June 17). May I suggest that a review of the psyche of modern client marketing personnel also be undertaken.

It seems the positive adjectives – new, exciting, innovative and creative – are now the sole province of supply agencies. Once so often used by marketers, these bywords have been replaced by the negative adjectives – non-proven, risky, off-message, too different, too difficult and so on.

I write as one who started his career in marketing and, as an off-shoot of a wider project, has recently been asked to promote a new advertising medium for a client. (In my old-fashioned marketing view it was at least worth evaluating.) Almost without exception, the client-side marketing people contacted were not interested in knowing even the basic details. The supply agencies could see some merit, but without a brief from the client were unable to act.

Have I been unlucky or has, since my day, the marketing profession moved from being a driving force to being merely an expensive clerical role as its image now suggests?

Paul Gilbert


West Midlands


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