Letter from London
This being my first ‘letter from London’ I’m feeling the pressure to keep you all engaged so forgive the following brain dump. So to correspond on the ad industry I firstly had to negotiate living in London before I was able to stick my head outside of my 8.40am – 7.45pm and absorb what is going on. That and I have to maintain my fashionable binge drinking going along with the tower of pizza boxes I have collecting near my bin, some of those are quite vintage now actually. E bay?
Apologies, I’m just feeling the strain of working on a BTL retail account (only for another 3 months I hasten to add as this is part of my graduate training). Why do I feel I have to say that as in justify it’s not really what I do? The arrogance that general ATL London agencies instil is undeniably infectious. My previous ATL account director refers to the department I’m in, over lunch one day, as ‘key rings and bar mats’. I laugh it off, he’s paying for the Dim Sum I’m cramming in my mouth and I have no idea when I’ll be able to afford to eat there again…in fact I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford eating again full stop. But yes, a trend is showing, many large London agencies have a plug and it’s at the top of the ladder and it looks like the guy who is too insecure to admit digital is coming in hard and fast, he shouts a lot and he likes to wear a suit jacket with a white T-shirt.
Enough! So Saatchi & Saatchi took their biggest win last week and would you believe it, it was head to head with Publicis. After BBH ditched Sony Ericsson over jealousy of a brand consultancy having a better idea Saatchi & Saatchi cleared up. Now, I’ve read some great things about the Saatchi network and then not so great things about the London office and when stood side by side Publicis does in fact tower. Could this be what I’ve been waiting for? For so long I’ve wanted Saatchi & Saatchi to be THE agency of London, after all, it did via controversial means make advertising attractive in the UK in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Furthermore Saatchi needs this win like a gasping fish needs a reservoir, they’ve lost consistent chunks of Toyota to CHI, they’ve just lost their global grip on Carlsberg which leads me to my next point, they lost it to Weiden and Kennedy (W&K).
Herein lies the agency to watch. W&K have cleared DDB out with two major poaches. Remember that great Guardian ad in black and white with a skin head saving the day but from the initial point of view the ad made him look like a mugger? Well forget it anyway as that relationship since the 70s is over with W&K taking DDB’s strongest relationship, chewing it up and spitting it out. Then Lurpack is taken away from DDB the following day so it looks like a major part of DDB’s management will probably move to W&K….and rightfully so, in terms of London W&K is my mecca, with Nike, Honda, EA Games and never hiring anyone who isn’t seasoned it really is the agency where magic can still happen.
I’d love to go on but I have webstats and generic data capture forms to attend to, joy. Take care all and I’ll write again soon.