Organic Spreads Its Wealth

Catharine P. Taylor weighs in on Organic’s new strategic consulting practice, a unit that boldly intends to partner with agencies outside the Omnicom network.

There are probably agencies out there who see this new unit as so much dot-com hubris, but what I’ve always enjoyed about interactive shops is their disdain for the ad industry’s tried-and-true practices. As some of you know, I spent 2000 as the head of communications at Organic, and became deeply immersed in Organic’s insistence that it was more akin to the McKinseys and Bains of the world than to, say, BBDO. But it wasn’t just Organic that was doing this—it was the whole interactive agency category, and, having been in and around traditional agencies for years who tried, desperately, to describe themselves as partners to their clients, it was enjoyable to see a bunch of companies who were truly trying to position themselves as such. Were these attempts always credible? No. And will this one be? Not necessarily. But where Organic may be onto something is that digital shops are still way smarter than most agencies and clients about interactive.

According to Ad Age, Organic CEO Mark Kingdon said marketers are increasingly focused on strategic guidance rather than just ideas for execution.
Strategic consulting is a natural fit for Mr. Kingdon, who worked as a partner for the consulting division of PricewaterhouseCoopers for 12 years before joining Organic. Mr. Kingdon said it’s also a natural fit for his agency, because of Organic’s emphasis on metrics and the recognition it has received for its consumer insights.

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 now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.