If You’re Not On A Mission, Pick Up The Pace

The 4As are meeting in Arizona this week. Between rounds of golf, the elite men and women of the ad biz will discuss the shifting landscape under their feet, and what to do about it.
Here’s a preview from the New York Times:

The increasing willingness of companies like Coca-Cola, General Motors and Unilever to hire smaller shops is among the most profound changes affecting Madison Avenue.
“It’s a slight red herring to focus on size,” said Carl Johnson, a partner at Anomaly, a New York boutique with clients that include the Lifetime cable network, Maxim magazine, Nike and the new Virgin America airline.
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Carl Johnson of Anomaly
“There are some good agencies that are very big,” said Mr. Johnson, who formerly was chief operating officer for one, TBWA Worldwide, part of the Omnicom Group. “And ‘small’ and ‘good’ are not necessarily the same thing.
“The biggest differentiator is whether agencies believe in anything, whether they have strong core values, whether they’re willing to challenge the status quo,” he added. “You’d be hard pressed to say what most agencies believe in, other than survival.”
Mr. Johnson cited independents like Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Wieden & Kennedy as models for the next generation of agency because of their ability to “create a mission, a cause, that everyone can sign up for, whether employees or clients.”

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.