Magazine article Marketing

Calculated Risks May Yet Pay Off

Magazine article Marketing

Calculated Risks May Yet Pay Off

Article excerpt

Isn't it cheering to know there are still talented nutters who want to start advertising agencies? Of course the timing is dire, of course there aren't any gaps in the market, of course the trend favours the big players, but MT Rainey and friends have shunned the reasons why not, rushed headlong to the edge of the cliff and, laughing with exhilaration and blind terror, hurled themselves off.

These gleeful lemmings may confirm your worst suspicions about advertising people as self-obsessed dreamers with a distinctly shaky grip on reality.

But what they have done, and what fewer and fewer marketers are doing in these cautious times, is to take a calculated risk. A risk that clients may not rush to their door; that their payment scheme turns out to be a dog; that the market doesn't pick up. But they have also risked success. They are chancing their brains and imaginations against the rest.

I hope they do well. Not just because their bravery deserves to be rewarded, but because the agency world right now needs a shot of concentrated optimism. (There is nothing worse than an ad agency down in the dumps -- they're not just fantastically miserable to be with, but they tend to lose their creative bottle as well.)

I hope advertisers look to their example too. American management guru Tom Peters is on record as saying that advertising agencies are the nearest approximation to the shape of successful businesses in the future. (Wow! And all the time I was told ad people made rotten businessmen! …

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