Tuesday, September 26, 2006

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.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

I question where Saatchi stand on a global scale in terms of their work. Asia, ummm not really, America average, Europe is possibly their stronger point along with Brazil which in my opinion are by far their best agency in the network.

Actually the Dubai office is probably the most creative agency in the UAE .

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weiden kennedy have long been a brilliant agency. Their legacy spans far back all the way to the early 90's Nike Ads. Their stronger offices have been portland and amsterdam, not really the UK with the exception of 2002 onwards.

Take into consideration that they played a large role in the glorification of Jordan.

Great Nikes Ads

Spike Lee Series
Nike vs Barkely
I love Jordan Campaign

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early 90s, is that really spanning far back, I don't think so. Agencies have ben greater and for longer than W&K and in terms of press coverage it's really since 1999 W&K came into mainstream fame.

Saatchi's irrespective of a UK win are ruined, dead and is a wasteful sinking ship as is the dire management run by a mad man who thinks that you can fall in love with your tooth paste. I'd prefer to be at M&C Saatchi and that's saying something?

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Spoon said...

Correction its 1999 that WK came into your ad scene, they've been around creating great work since the early 90's.

4:34 PM  
Blogger X said...

"During the late 1990s, the agency opened a clutch of international offices but was hit by a series of staff problems, as well as fickle clients. It had recovered from these by 2002, and has steadily broadened its global reach, primarily to service Nike."

Article adbrand

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So i was right

I thank you

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Spoon said...

What the sh*t does that have to do with being right?
WK have been working on Nike for almost 2 decades. Expanding offices to cator to Nike isn't exactly a symbol of failure anonymous.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't really think that was his/her point you Spoon

7:05 PM  
Blogger X said...

We at Diablog Cafe realize our own ignorance (cough cough) therefore merely assume the role of questioner and occasional fact provider.
We are the metaophorical table whereby which you converse over, nothing more...

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Ish said...

cheers to that...

8:09 AM  

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