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This week in content marketing: agency life

Colm Larkin

April 14, 2017

This week in content marketing, we check in on the latest with ad agencies and find the agency world is never too far from controversy.

Creatives killed the agency star

Every agency has account managers right? The client/agency relationship just doesn’t work without them. Not according to Austin ad agency, Greatest Common Factory, who decided to ditch the role and have the creative team deal directly with clients.

Their reasoning is simple. However many different styles of account managers they tried, “an intermediary is still an intermediary”. In an age where clients need to move fast to get content to market, close collaboration between creators and stakeholders is essential. And as this Digiday post says, true collaboration means breaking down walls.

Forget keeping clients happy

Last month’s Advertising Week Europe event in London featured a provocative panel where both leading agency and brand executives slammed the idea that an agency’s job is simply to keep their client happy.

Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at BT, Zaid Al Qassab believes that too many agencies focus on getting an idea approved rather than challenging their clients to create truly great content. Veteran creative, Dave Trott agreed, saying “it isn’t collaboration, it’s obsequiousness.”

In-house vs agency

One of the consequences of poor collaboration is the likelihood that more clients will turn to in-house creative teams. IBM’s internal digital marketing agency was recently called a category leader by Gartner, while Pepsi’s infamous new TV commercial was produced in-house.

Naturally, many agency apologists see the backlash to that ad as a sign that Pepsi would have benefited from some external perspective. But as creative leader Brian Cooper points out in this article for Campaign, plenty of agencies have created bad ads.

That was our week in content marketing. What caught your eye recently? Share your links in the comments below.