Relationships between advertising agencies and their clients has been deteriorating at an alarming rate.
On the one hand, ad agencies are seeing their fees cut annually despite the growth of their Scopes of Work. Their ability to carry out high quality creative work across all media types is being compromised by deteriorating economics and the stretching of their overworked and underpaid people.
On the other hand, the advertisers who are cutting agency fees and growing agency workloads are not seeing an improvement in brand growth and profitability. Legacy brands are languishing; CMOs are fired almost as frequently as their agencies; and marketing is operating with a high degree of insecurity, seen as not contributing positively to improvements in shareholder value.
"Madison Avenue Manslaughter" is shorthand for this phenomenon. Agencies and advertisers are each failing to add value, and in the process they are torturing and blaming one another. Where is this headed? How can it be fixed?
The Madison Avenue Manslaughter Channel documents the problems and outlines solutions for these troubled partners in the advertising industry.
"Acquire and squeeze," the principal strategy used by holding companies to grow and prosper during the past 30 years, has reached the end of the line. Investors are worried about the future, and they're downgrading holding company shares. New holding company strategies are required. What are they? What should holding companies' CEOs do?
Madison Avenue Makeover is a new game, played quietly by a few players. Its rules are not entirely obvious, but The Makeovers are gaining momentum in the highly competitive marketing communications industry.
WPP points the finger at ZBB as the most important factor driving cuts in WPP's agency revenues -- cuts that have taken 35% off WPP's share price from its 2017 high. Leading industry analyst Brian Wieser identifies ZBB as a major factor suppressing holding company organic growth, along with other factors like increased contract scrutiny. ZBB is the flavor of the month. Mention ZBB to an ad agency and watch the panic. "Here it comes! Another excuse to cut fees!"