Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Advertising ...the art of Client Agency Relationships... part 6

Continued from part 5

4. Compatibility

The agencies’ (Read the human beings representing the agency) ability to be compatible with the clients’ philosophy is very vital for transformation of Client Agency Relation to a level of bliss. Often it is complained that agency professionals refuse to communicate, or even if they do, use jargons to confuse. Mutual respect, of course is an ingredient, but many clients blame agencies possessing a “take it from me attitude”. Many times the agency and the client don’t agree even on the objectives of the campaign that they are planning. Most of the ads are made for awareness but awareness doesn’t necessarily sell the clients products, which agencies refuse to accept. It is good that the agency entertains the target audience, and walk up on to the scaffold of Cannes and Abby’s but what happens to the client’s sales?
“In pitching they show their reel, brag about their people, show a few case histories, flaunt all the promises, worse, some even bring all the wrong people (the best ones) for pitching, who will not be the ones, actually working on the account later on” this seems to be a typical client complaint..... Sergio Zyman refers to it as bait and switch and to avoid this he suggests that the contract should be specific about the persons working on the account .

Two classic gripes that clients have about agencies are......

why is it taking so long?
And why does it cost so much?

It is simply because agencies have other fish to fry, and clients generally don’t realize this or rather they like to think that the agency should be focused on them, solely. Researchers and authors have vouched on this as one key deterrent to the success of Client Agency Relation .


Czars are emperors or star employees on the rolls of an agency. Stars make a difference, often a celestial feeling for the accounts who work with them. The role of such stars may be limited in many accounts, and very dominant in same major accounts that the agency handles. Yet, this is true, in case of star creatives in India like Prasoon Joshi or Piyush Pandey. Presence of a Chaks or a Pops makes a difference with which a client perceives its agency and its seriousness of the account. May be the difference is just psychological, and at the functional level the czars contribution may be null, but that is a difference worth a look. Ever since S H Benson launched a journal for advertisers, wrote two books on best practices and organized an international advertising exhibition in London, as early as 1899,celebrity ad men, whom we refer to as czars make a difference.
Agencies seem to be doing their bit to make sure that the cream is added to. JWT India some time back ,in a high profile hire bought in Bruce Matchett as the Chief Creative Officer and National Executive Creative Director, from Singleton O&M-Australia, crossing one big geographical and cultural barrier. Also, to retain the existing czars agencies do their best. Almost every agency (some like FCB are exception) has the post of National Creative Director who largely exists as poster boys for the agencies and their clients rather than bring in some new vibrant creative culture. ...The big amounts that go to the maintenance of the czars make things a bit tough for the agency. “Most agencies get short term contracts and have very tight margins because of high salaries and such overheads. A typical agency would spend at least 60% of its gross income on payroll and staff bonuses” as reporetd in The Economist, (June 1990:17).....
But not all clients bask in the yesteryear glory of the Czar who works for their account. The creative duo behind the Hutch dog and the boy story weren’t any famous until the story broke. Hopefully they will continue their ‘out of the box thinking’ and will not let the one campaign take care of rest of their career.
Client loyalties in many cases lie with the person, as history would have it. Remember, when Charles and Maurice were thrown out of Satchi and Satchi, the only thing, which remained with them, is the unstinting loyalty of their clients like British Airways. Recent reports suggest that Trevor Beatie, the creative Czar at TBWA London, and the creator of the Controversial FCUK campaigns would be moving out of the agency and the client will follow the Czar......

To be continued>>>>>>>>>>>

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