Survey Shows Better Advertising Agency/client Relationships

Article excerpt

There has been a surprisingly strong improvement in the relationship between advertising agencies and clients, according to the results of an annual survey, despite the continuing tumultuous pace of account changes and roster realignments.

"People are much happier in all of the measurements of what makes a good relationship," said Nancy L. Salz, president of Nancy L. Salz Consulting in New York, who offered a preview of the 1997 Salz Survey of Advertiser-Agency Relations. "It's very encouraging."

"With the kind of money that's at stake," Salz said, referring to the high cost of pitching for national consumer marketers, "advertisers and agencies have got to work more closely together. "And they're starting to do that," she added. The surveys have been conducted for Salz Consulting for 12 years. The 1997 survey is the second in a row that found improving attitudes after years of fractious disputes. "You can have a warm day in February but it doesn't mean it's spring," Salz said, cautioning against declaring that the improvements are sustainable. "But this year we are seeing that there may be a really solid foundation on which to build better results." For example, in the new survey, 39 percent of agencies said there was more teamwork with their clients, a large gain from the 23 percent who reported that in the 1996 survey. And the percentage of advertisers who said there was more teamwork with their agencies rose, too, from 49 percent in last year's survey to 54 percent -- the highest level since 1992, when 63 percent of advertisers said there was more teamwork with their shops. Also, a wide gap has narrowed between agencies and advertisers on the issue of how much they focus on their relationship. …