AKQA turns in its agency membership card

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If you haven't seen it, three of the digital ad world's best and brightest got serious ink in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, even if it was under the regrettable headline "Multiscreen Mad Men." Ben Palmer of The Barbarian Group, Rob Rasmussen of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (and previously R/GA), and Lars Bastholm of AKQA held forth in a pretty interesting, if basic, discussion of how companies will reach consumers in digital media. One thing that stood out for me was when Lars (at left, with other AKQA execs, in the photo) explained how AKQA looks at its business. "At my company," he said, "we're starting to redefine ourselves from being an ad agency to being an entertainment and technology company." Really? When Adweek named AKQA its Digital Agency of the Year last year, nobody quibbled. I keep getting press releases saying it's the "digital agency of record" for clients like Coke, Xbox and McDonald's. Still, maybe the whole agency thing is very yesterday. Lars told me his real point was that "what constitutes an agency has never been more in flux." Maybe so, but what's so bad about being an agency?

—Posted by Brian Morrissey