The sharpest decline in billings, in 2009, occurred. Billings declined 7.5%, now that’s the sharpest decline since 1944!

And cracks are starting to appear in the already complex relationship between Agencies and Clients.

Everybody appears to be getting in everybody else’s business, which is confusing for Clients and creates new competition for Agencies.

One problem is compensation. Go back 10, 15 years ago and people knew how
to pay a traditional Agency, but now it’s very hard. What do you pay to get someone to set up a Facebook page? Plus the fact that there are still a lot of questions within the corporate world about the power of advertising, then there’s impatience for efficiency and effectiveness with little or no compromise towards delivery either. There are higher expectations of accountability from Clients!
Measurement, instead of being a powerful enabler, is becoming a source of tension, particularly when viewed through the lens of the false construct above. If agencies embrace, lead, drive, integrate and make measurement an intrinsic part of their product, they will immediately change their value perception to marketers. However, today it seems that research and analytics (most notably in creative agencies) is seen as the enemy designed to kill the opportunity for creativity.
Creative agencies have been marginalized. They have enabled massive inefficiency driven by duplication and, sadly, have enabled open strife and conflict in full view of marketers, which only serves to diminish the value of all agency parties in the eye of marketers.
The holding companies need to confront this issue fast or they risk being marginalized. Agencies need to collaborate amongst themselves to create client-focused value vs. playing out strife in public view of their clients. This is killing agency credibility and value among marketers.
One of the problems is the fact that no new thinking has emerged from Advertising Agencies despite all the head scratching…Simply put …nothing. Advertising Agencies are still dancing on the head of a pin called a 30’ TV commercial. The really terrifying aspect of all this is that advertising agencies have come up with no new ideas as to how to combat clutter; or even customer mistrust and outright avoidance of traditional advertising.

As somebody said to us the other day the attitude within advertising agencies still is “The answer is a TV commercial, - what’s your question?”

And if they can then load the TV production cost by hiring an outlandishly expensive Hollywood movie director, so much the better. It satisfies all the egos involved, but, and here is the real weird thing, the consumer couldn’t care less about who directs the commercial, all they wanted was the right information that would allow them to like and need the product.

Junk Mail is alive and growing.

Who ever said “The more things change the more they remain the same” was spot on when applying that maxim to the advertising world!

Clutter. That dreadful word that came into vogue in the late 1960s and was applied to the proliferation of advertising messages the consumer could be exposed to during the course of his or her working day. More accurately the term was “commercial clutter”, however we much prefer “meaningless noise”

Well the growth of digital TV and Radio, together with the proliferation of TV channels means that “clutter” has become a downright deluge of information…of all sorts, and still the Advertising World has no answer to the problem, and, frankly, they don’t want it to end. To the advertising agencies “commercial clutter” means bigger profits, so stuff the Client and lets get more messages out there!

We live in an over informed society and people everywhere are turning away from the commercial information spewed out from all media, it is of no interest or relevance to them at all!

But the real insidious problem is the fact that we squawk for change – but they just don’t mean it!

The ugly truth is that change means loss of profits and cuts, cuts and more cuts. That’s why Advertising Agencies don’t want anything to do with change.

Change is the buzz-word; change the chorus; change the cry. This said an advertising agency friend of mine is the advertising era cry for the moment.

But no it isn’t. It’s anything-but-change advertising. It’s head-in-the-sand advertising. It’s the block-your-ears-and-screw-up-your-eyes advertising era!

Change is the last thing the advertising people want. They want things to carry on as they are.

But the truth is simple…Clients are demanding more accountability – the truth is simple, we do not understand communication. The change – if change were what we really were prepared to embrace- is simple, we will have to introduce interactive communication. But already you can hear the howls of pain, because advertising agencies are angry with the truth because it means a huge loss of income!

Shoppers’ Voice has made repeated attempts to articulate a new philosophy of marketing communication that does really work, and has been proven to be the way to go. From the advertising agencies they have received a big raspberry for their pains!
The anger of the advertising class is the anger not of the master but the ineffectual servant, They have been routinely abused, insulted, called liars, accused of vast and multifarious corruption and had their honour and creativity dragged through the mud. They have also been told to promise the “delivery” of what they know cannot be delivered – accountability - and when any of them (Shoppers’ Voice) has been rash enough to suggest that yes, indeed, they do have the answer and can deliver accountability they have been told that they will be punished for doing that!


Author's Bio: 

Try it you'll like it!
If you click on the link below you'll be able to preview a part of my book "Television Killed Advertising"
In it you will discover why we need interactive communication, properly executed, together with supporting independent research.
Or visit for some really interesting up-to-date information on the effectiveness interactive communication