Mark Pritchard, Proctor & Gamble’s CMO has asked Publicis, WPP and Omnicom to create a hybrid consumer agency to service a portion of his North American business. The collaboration, he hopes, will yield better creative and better economics. (Insert silent giggle here.) When the boss asks for something and is willing to pay for something, you do it. Mr. Pritchard is the boss and the biggest ad spender in the neighborhood.
As proof of concept, he points to the wonderful anti-advertising Tide Detergent campaign aired during the last Super Bowl. But there’s a massive problem with the logic. Ad people are very ethnocentric. Very egocentric. Did I mention competitive? Especially creative people. Leonardo da Vinci let some talented interns mix the paints and sketch on some canvases, but he wasn’t collaborating.
Every time someone trots out this hybrid agency idea or the idea to have a totally dedicated brand shop, it’s failed. As Faris says, “ideas are recombinant.” Egos aren’t.
This dedicated agency model may save money, it may make a couple of goods ads, but it won’t attract the best people and certainly won’t foster the best creative. Ring around the agency.