Monday, June 23, 2008

Postcard from Cannes

The annual advertising award show in Cannes is meant to showcase all that is good about the advertising business.  It celebrates big ideas that build our build our clients' brands in memorable and imaginative ways.

But often I'm struck by how Cannes also has the ability to shine a harsh light on things that must change in our business.  Two articles in Adweek bring this to mind.  

The first deals with the confusion over how certain entries were categorized.  Is an integrated campaign a TV idea?  Or an online idea?  Or a promotional idea?  I'm not sure clients care.  They just want ideas.   Only agencies worry about silos and categories.  That has to change.  (That's why BD'M built its model around "no walls.")

The second article reports on WPP's Martin Sorrell questioning why Google is going straight to clients and disintermediating agencies.  Clients might rightly wonder why their agencies believe they should be immune from the same forces that marketers face.  Instead of hand wringing we need to add more value in this process.  BD'M has extremely productive meetings with Google.  We seek them out as partners (another "no walls" behavior) and bring imagination and solutions to the package they offer marketers.  It can be no other way.

And, lastly, given the currently economic environment, I can't help but wonder how clients feel seeing their agencies basking in the South of France while they are facing eroding profits and share.

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