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.
“There are no agencies-of-the-future,” asserts Martin Albrecht. “There are only agencies-of-today that are becoming more effective for their clients … versus agencies-of-today that are losing ground. In a turbulent marketplace, you have to think and act like a perpetual start-up to become more effective.”
Increased complexity has become the new standard in marketing. Increased complexity has been exploited to justify advertisers’ increased control over marketing and to marginalize ad agency involvement. Yet, brands continue to languish. The complexity trend needs to be reversed.
Kraft Heinz recently took a charge-off that shocked investors and led to a share price decline. At about the same time, WPP took a charge-off that reassured investors and led to a share price rise. What's going on here?