AgenciesSeptember 23, 2018

Taking a historical approach to disruption and profit. David gives a candid view of Agencies today.

Historically speaking…

“Prior to the ‘80s, disruption was principally about large corporations driving new product innovation and globalizing, while full-service agencies were paid handsomely for building beautiful TV ads.

Done well, the system delivered great work that influenced consumers’ lives, built clients’ businesses – and did so with incredible simplicity of structure.

One agency did virtually everything for the brand.”

“Disruption through dizzying change in technology and consumer behaviour has been so fundamental that agencies are being forced to look at structures to deal with this digitally interconnected world. Clients themselves have jumped into the fray. Most radically, P&G in the U.S. recently had multiple holding company rivals create a standalone creative agency to help it cut costs and create efficiency.

Secondly, now that clients have uncovered the depth and breadth of money-making by media agencies, holding groups are forced to reassess legacy structures. They simply cannot maintain heavy layers of national and global management for each agency brand, plus the holding company, in this new economic reality.

However, in reality, these new models are hacked versions of existing agencies with multiple cultures, disparate leaders, bonus schemes, and so on. They are band aids, not meaningful, systemic solutions.

If we are going to create agencies that are fit for today – and poised to adapt to an ever-changing future – we must learn from history, and through the lens of disruption and profit.”

-David Jowett, No Fixed Address (yes that’s the brand name).