Agency Options

The last Cog Blog commented on the advance of the management consultancies into the territory traditionally occupied by media agencies, and asked what the agencies can do about this threat to their futures. This post considers the agencies’ options.

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Advance of the Management Consultancies

Last week’s Cog Blog discussed Accenture’s development of the next generation of product placement. This post explores more broadly how the management consultancies are extending their marketing services offering, thus challenging existing agencies.

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Enter Accenture With Mousetrap

It seems product placement is about to get sexy. Someone will without doubt invent a new phrase for it. I’m off to trademark VPI, or Virtual Product Integration.  Read more

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Agency Reboot

Michael Farmer, strategy consultant to several agencies and author of ‘Madison Avenue Manslaughter’ wrote an interesting piece on MediaVillage.com the other week in which he pointed out that even though the ANA has been (correctly) criticising agency practices for the last couple of years the agency’s own association, the 4A’s has hardly been robust in putting up any kind of counter argument.

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Facebook Struggles On

Procter and Gamble has been at the forefront of calling out agencies and digital platforms for their lack of transparency – contractual and financial in the case of the agencies, measurement-wise in the case of the major platforms.

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Au Revoir ‘Campaign’

I’ve always had a Marmite relationship with ‘Campaign’, whose final edition in its weekly format appeared last Thursday.

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Ducking and Diving

All of our careers are punctuated by what at the time seem like minor incidents but which we look back on as being representative of some larger principle.

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All That’s Right; All That’s Wrong

Last week saw an interesting piece by Mindshare’s Global CEO, Nick Emery published in ‘Campaign’, and widely circulated on social media. In case you missed it, here it is.

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The Networks’ Challenge

When I was a mere Coglet, working for an international agency was an ambition. Network ad agencies had the largest, most important clients with whom they had built relationships going back many years. There was the opportunity to learn from the best in the business, whilst experiencing how advertising worked elsewhere.

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Holiday Break

Hello – there is no Cog Blog this week as I’m on a short break. Back next week. I’m sure you’ll muddle through…!

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Rethinking Audience Research

It seems that everything these days has to be interpreted as black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. There’s no room any more for good old grey. This is not healthy; extreme positions mean there’s little room for discussion or constructive debate.

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Election Lessons

For the benefit of non-UK readers, last week we had a General Election. The Cog Blog is a politics-free (and click-bait-free) zone. We have never stooped to the classic ‘5 things you can learn from..’ trick, but for once there are some interesting lessons to be learned from the way our main political parties conducted their campaigns.

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Mergers and Closures

GroupM has announced that they intend merging two of their four media agencies, MEC and Maxus into one as yet un-named entity in order to release the funds needed to invest in the digital agency Essence. This raises some interesting questions.

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A Matter of Fact: Giving a Damn

Today the IPA (the UK ad agency trade body) and ISBA (the UK advertiser body) unveiled a joint initiative to highlight the need for accountable, transparent media audience data specifically within online media forms.

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All Change in Agency Land

It wasn’t so very long ago that the industry’s trade press was full of articles berating the agency community for being resistant to change. The common thread being that in a world that is changing so fast the agencies were lagging behind.

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Why BARB is Right

It is rare for arcane audience measurement issues to take centre stage, but that is just what has happened in the UK as YouTube has had its attempts to join BARB, the joint industry service responsible for measuring TV audiences rejected.

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Supporting the News

The great thing about being an easy come easy go blogger is that you are in a position to do your best to argue a point without having the onerous burden of actually having to put into action whatever it is you’re discussing this week.

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Paying for Planning

Who should pay for communications planning? Why are advertisers apparently so set against the idea of paying network agencies for a service most know full well is an essential part of any campaign?

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Absence

I’m on holiday so no Cog Blog posts till the first week of May. I’m sure you’ll struggle through.

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The Challenge Ahead for Media Agencies: A Sick Goose

The network media agencies are full of contradictions. On the one hand, they have smart people who talk knowledgeably about the pressing issues of our time. On the other they make oh-so-secret deals designed to benefit themselves, over and above the needs of their clients. Read more

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