Englishman, Piers Fawkes, visited London recently and came away unimpressed by the staidness evident in British ad circles.
There are a few folk in the UK who are very switched on, I grant you, but a lot of agency people I met in my short visit were rather bemused by PSFK and IF. Although blogs are championed by the Guardian newspaper – an important media read – the British marketing community seems to be dismissive of the new tools to develop dialog between brands and consumers.
The contrast with New York, where I am based, is vast. Agencies in New York get it – they may not be making the best attempts but they’re trying hard. It’s best to crash and burn than not not try at all, no? The buzz around new media tools is exemplified by the social networking going on here. Meanwhile in London, there seems to be an air of “well, we make the most creative advertising in the world, why should we listen to what’s going on anywhere else.” Everyone in Soho seems to be still in the pub talking about the next commercials director.
Hugh MacLeod agrees with Piers. He sees it this way:
The British advertising scene sees itself more as an extension of the Film-TV-Entertainment industry, than they see themselves an extensions of their clients’ business.