After Spate of Long, Unwieldy Reviews, Agency and Advertiser Associations Give Advice to Head off Trouble Before It Bubbles up
AdAge broke the news Oct 3rd – go there for the full article and comments. The entire white paper can be found on the 4A’s and ANA websites. Highlights were:
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS IN 4A’S/ANA GUIDELINES
1.If procurement is going to be involved, decide if its role will be as a facilitator or driver, and be clear with agencies about fact.
2.The ideal amount of time for a search process is three months, and the ideal number of shops who answer a request for proposal is no more than eight.
3.Decide whether a formal search is necessary or whether you can identify a select number of shops — internally — or with the help of a consultant to participate in a streamlined, closed process.
4.Have a discussion about compensation early on, not at the end of the process. Agencies should bring up the topic even if a marketer doesn’t.
5.Agencies shouldn’t do a bait-and-switch, bringing in one team to secure the account, and assigning another to do the work. Ensure the client meets the people who will work on their business.
6.Agency visits are a must and cultural compatibility should be weighed just as heavily as capabilities. Clients should understand how the agency behaves overall and should select the whole agency, with its values and staff, not just the handful of people who pitched the business.
7.An agency’s culture shouldn’t only be complementary to a marketer, but also to the other agencies on the marketer’s roster.
8.Speculative work presented by an agency during a review frequently doesn’t translate into a campaign, so decide if it’s really a necessary part of the process. If it is, allocate enough time for agencies to deliver the assignment.
9.Offer non-winning agencies a debriefing phone call and give them honest feedback.
One writer from Europe commented that search consulants were missing from those on the authoring committee. That might have been helpful, but I suggest they covered most that counts. When clients see how much is actually involved in an agency review, they might be inclined to take the process more seriously.
I was pleasantly surprised to read that their recommendations reflect what we’ve been advocating and doing literally since we began way back in 1997. We also subscribe to the number of initial invitations as well as those that get the RFP (we use an RFD – Dialogue). And in particular, the agency visit is almost a “non-option”, since that’s when the client can make both chemistry and creative decisions. You’ve got to see the “shops!” Good job folks!
Chuck Meyst declares – Here’s to agency new business!