Does That Make Any Damn Sense?

By SuperSpy 

Announcer: In lieu of the numerous emails we’ve gotten about Adweek’s agency report card for GSD&M, it’s time to play you favorite game show “Does That Make Any Damn Sense?”

(Queue 70s era game show music)
(Queue applause track)
(Enter stage left the host of the show, Super Spy)

Super Spy: “Welcome, welcome to “Can. You. Add?” (applause track) “On today’s show we’re going to be taking a look at some complicated numbers. Are you ready at work audience? Okay. Here we go. Add up the following account win totals:


HD Radio Alliance at $230 million.
AT&T’s 411 and 1-800-Yellow Pages at $50 million
Cost Plus World Market at $30 million
DreamWorks/Toshiba HD assignments at $20 million
John Deere at $20 million
Small Smiles at $20 million
Hallmark’s mass channel at $20 million
San Antonio Spurs project, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, American Stroke Association – under $1 million each, but let’s round them up to an even $1M for fun!

And what is your answer? It should be $393M. Now add up these account loses:

AT&T media at $1 billion
Chili’s Grill & Bar at $75 million
Frito-Lay’s Tostitos at $40 million
Wal-Mart loss in late 2006 at $10 million

And what is your answer? One billion plus $125M? We’ll give you a second.” (Queue tick-tock sound effect) “Your answer should be… $1,125,000,000. Now, this is where it gets tricky. Subtract, yes, subtract the wins from the losses. That’s $1,125,000,000 minus, yes minus, $393M. (Queue tick-tock sound effect) “And what is your answer? It should be negative $732M.” (Queue applause)

“Now, why is this our question of the day? Adweek’s report card for GSD&M reads: “Billings flat at $1.8 billion, revenue down 3% to $112 million on restated 2006 revenue of $116 million.”

“This calculation has caused a flurry of activity in our inbox. Well, you just did the math. Either the shop has $732M coming in on their media buying side straight up or that $1B from AT&T was media buying and so the shop made some percentage on the buys that isn’t indicated in this Adweek blurb. Hence, the GSD&M is not really losing a $1B, but some slice of that pie. All very confusing right players?
The labyrinth of billings in this business can be troubling some times and so, we ask that you all take these report cards with a grain of salt. Obviously, they aren’t covering every nook and narrow nor being precise in their language. Don’t be upset if the numbers seem fishy. It’s advertising! Hell, in this case, it’s Omnicom.

At home players, feel free to chime in on any discrepancies you see on this year’s Adweek report cards. In the mean time, I and hopefully, you, too have learned a little bit more about this shaky financial ground we call the biz. Until next time and thanks for playing!”

(Queue exit music)