Ad Agency Transparency, Public Relations, Unraveled

By Matt Van Hoven 

Since 2007, AgencySpy has been making headway on the battles waged between blogger and public relations teams. The war rages even today by way of oft unanswered requests for comment (via email, phone), scoops given to other trades despite having been broken here (journos are whiny by nature), and missives between agency folk saying things like “oh that AgencySpy, don’t believe a word written there.” Ha, we say, ha. Why? Here’s why (and who we think the bad ones should be more like).

In the last year we’ve grown from 2,000 readers per day to, wait for it, 25-30k. Per day. We’re no Gawker, but fuck me, you’re reading. A lot. Which means we need to get better. It also means the ad agencies we write about should get their heads out of their own tightly wound anuses and pay attention. This is for you: please answer the phone.


In our experience, the shops that don’t respond are often held back by either client or their own higher-ups. Or so they say. We understand when Hugely Giant Client Co. puts the lock down on info regarding Super Big Product Launch #7 &#151 but too often publicists get lazy and say “we can’t comment, ciao.” Unacceptable! We’re trying to write about your company &#151 figure something out. The industry has spoken, AgencySpy matters. Furthermore it’s free press. Yeah, people say mean things here, but grow up, you’ll be fine.

We’ll not bore you with every nuanced annoyance we deal with and jump to a few examples of PR teams who rarely-or-never drop the ball. Here goes:

&#151 BBDO
&#151 McCann Worldgroup
&#151 Universal McCann
&#151 MRM
&#151 R/GA
&#151 Enfatico
&#151 Y&R
&#151 AKQA
&#151 BBH
&#151 Fallon
&#151 GSD&M
&#151 MDC/CP+B
&#151 Ogilvy
&#151 Mother
&#151 Big Spaceship
&#151 Firstborn
&#151 Gotham
&#151 Publicis

And some PR firms that have done their jobs:
&#151 Rosengroup
&#151 Powell NY
&#151 DiGenarro

Subjective as this list may be, it’s good for you to be on it. If you aren’t, we’ve spent the last year trying to open the lines of communication and will continue to do so with your help. Hell &#151 the majority of our “tips” are three word business wins. Those are good things, when your agency’s name is attached, btw.

We’re still going to bust everyone’s balls now and then. But it’s a new year and the ad industry is poised to move forward. Help us tell the stories.

Image (When AgencySpy calls, roll with it, like this rare rolling long cloud!)
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