Magazine article Marketing

A Challenge Facing the Agency World

Magazine article Marketing

A Challenge Facing the Agency World

Article excerpt

Last week, Saatchi & Saatchi dropped the word advertising from its name. In this column, we praised the move but pointed out that it would take more than a name change if agencies were to compete with management consultants - they would have to change for real.

This week has seen yet more disturbing news for The Business Formerly Known As Advertising. First, the Chartered Institute of Marketing revealed that investment in marketing is slowing down, with 200 top marketers predicting growth in spend of 3.6% in 1998 compared with 4.6% this year.

If advertising agencies which don't adapt are getting a smaller share of the cake, the fact that the Battenburg's not getting much bigger is a grim discovery. Worse was to follow.

Niall FitzGerald stood up at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on Friday to speak to the European Association of Advertising Agencies.

As chairman of Unilever, which spends [pounds]4bn a year on marketing, his views might be said to have some impact on the fortunes of his audience.

Now Niall isn't a Net herd or an anorak, but many of his brands are on the Web and he sees online, interactive, marketing as vital to his company's future. So when he says he 'worries about how many traditional agencies have such skills available', we should listen. …

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