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Monday, June 04, 2007

Ad Agency Deathwatch: "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better!"

An NYT article today discussed another emerging trend exposing the weakness of traditional agency models. Richard Beckman, el presidente of the Conde Naste Media Group, has taken it upon himself to create a "agencylike business within Condé Nast’s ad sales unit, generating new revenue by planning events for advertisers and creating advertisements that help sell more magazine pages."

Among others, the in-house creative team has developed ads for department store Dillards

The National Gold Council

and even Lexus

Whether or not these examples meet creative standards of award shows isn't really the point. With clients (Miller Lite being just one example) and now their media partners increasingly handling traditional ads on their own (or hell, even by asking their customers to create the ads for them), its all the more important for us to not just be vendors and "people who make ads". Yet another sign that the traditional agency model needs to evolve to where we are true partners, not only creating communications but helping to craft and influence the business strategy of which the creative is just one component.

I often wonder how many people actually listen/take seriously all this talk of "agency deathwatch" and associated apocalyptic signals, but hopefully if we keep beating that drum there will be action before it's too late.


salina said...

also wonder if it implies a shifting tide in clients' perception of magazine work--oh let's just throw it over to the magazine to do and we'll concentrate our energy on the REAL stuff (actions?)....

pak said...

interesting. do you know whether this group did the big advertorial for the philips concierge service that's been running in conde nast mags recently? and maybe more importantly, did they conceive the concierge service for philips? if not this group, i bet it was someone at conde nast...