Holding Companies Don’t Hold All The Cards

A recent article in Adweek wondered if independent ad agencies can thrive in the “merger era.”

The answer, of course, is yes. In the era of “storytelling” and “content” nearly anyone and their project manager can get into the advertising business. But it’s not a guaranteed path to success.

The weaknesses of upper management are more visibly pronounced and felt. Dysfunction can’t be covered up in layers of process or management. Plus, smaller shops need alliances and partnerships, which involve lots of trust since there’s always a subtext of fighting over the same slice of client pie. And no small agency wants to admit to a client, “we don’t do that” or “we don’t do that sort of thing well” even if they don’t, which in the era of a thousand digital and mobile tactics becomes quite obvious. It’s simply hard for smaller firms to do everything on behalf of a client, and even harder to turn down a piece of business when offered even if it isn’t the right fit.

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo.

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.