DraftFCB Merger Looking Like A Loveless Marriage

Today’s Adweek takes a look at all the fallout from the DraftFCB merger:

Draft’s top managers are grappling with the challenges any new entity faces when combining corporate cultures. One former FCB employee described the mood at FCB’s New York flagship as “grim.” “Everyone knew from the beginning that Draft would take the lead, but still, it’s as if 100 years of FCB heritage is being shredded by Howard Draft.”
Another source noted that top Draft execs face their own learning curve as they try to establish bonds with FCB’s marketers: Draft staffers are more used to dealing with direct-marketing execs. Hence Draft managers are not used to dealing with CEOs. They are “not really good at going up the food chain,” said one exec.
Combining the two companies’ very different creative approaches is going as well as can be expected, given their different orientations to the business. But Chris Becker, DraftFCB N.Y. CCO who hails from the FCB camp, is having each side of the combined entity spend time presenting creative ideas outside their normal disciplines so they can become comfortable with the agency’s new integrated focus.

This sounds ridiculous. I’ve worked in some small agencies and large agencies, and I’ve had the opportunity to do a bit of all types of work-including TV and direct. It’s not *that* hard to understand the differences in concepting for different types of media, or talking to different types of clients who themselves have different priorities. It just takes a little understanding, a little flexibility–and willingness to learn. Why the hell is it so hard for these people to change gears? Are they that stuck in their ways?

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.