In response to your recent article “What role do agency intermediaries play?” (MW July 21), I think that the comment “whether brokers provide impartial… expertise is debatable” has a certain degree of truth to it.
While the AAR, Haystack, Creative Brief and, indeed, the MCCA, have agencies “on their books”, it could be argued that they favour those agencies that pay to be part of that intermediary service.
However, all intermediaries act in the interests of the clients that they are representing and to be anything other than impartial would ultimately be to the clients’ detriment. For instance, during a recent review conducted by the MCCA, only one of the agencies on our books was put forward to be part of the review – the remainder were “sourced” from outside in order to meet the client’s specific requirement.
Certainly, a degree of schmoozing takes place between agencies and intermediaries, but one would hope that favouritism isn’t something that actually determines which agencies are appointed.
Clients ask for advice, and that is what an intermediary provides. To guide decisions is part of the job, but to say that an intermediary makes the ultimate decision on which agency to appoint would be an absolute disaster for the credibility of any senior marketing person involved in a review.
Search and selection consultant