Magazine article Marketing

Integration Once Again Rears Its Not-So-Ugly Head

Magazine article Marketing

Integration Once Again Rears Its Not-So-Ugly Head

Article excerpt

So it's all about "integration", then. Unless you're an integrated ad agency, it's all over, can't compete, have to shut up shop. Maybe, maybe not. I do believe I've seen this particular beast masquerading in a number of guises spreading over nearly 20 years in the business. In the 80s it was "communication counsel", "one-stop-shopping" and when I was at Young & Rubicam in the late 70s it was called "The Whole Egg" -- which still makes me wince 15 years later.

Are we all in danger of becoming marketing fashion victims again? Remember Lord Young, Europe and 1992? If we weren't ready to do business by January, we'd all be bankrupt by March. However, as the eminent economist J K Galbraith testily remarked, Europe after 1992 will be pretty much the same Europe as before 1992. Sure, there has been a move towards a more European orientation, but it's hardly a flood, is it? (Incidentally, we are part of a high-calibre European network, so please don't accuse me of sticking my head in the sand.)

Similarly with "integration", let's be wary. Yes, some clients want it under one roof. We recently lost out on a multimillion pound pitch because we weren't able to "offer" an integrated approach in-house (you won't be surprised to hear that we're doing something about it!).

On the other hand, a recent client appointment of ours stated categorically at brief stage that they only wanted advertising proposals and nothing else. They had other requirements, but they wanted them handled by specialists elsewhere. …

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