The 27 Biggest AgencySpy Posts of 2017

By admin 

In just a couple days, we can officially say we survived 2017. Congratulations, you all deserve a drink! But you were probably way ahead of us.

In many ways, this year felt like an extension of the shitstorm that was 2016 as we enter a new Gilded Age (now with more “nationalistic” flavor!). But there were some larger cultural changes, especially over the past three months, as cases involving Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein helped encourage the hundreds of women who have already spoken up about harassment and the thousands more who will certainly follow them. And things weren’t all bad, culturally speaking: we enjoyed the familiar pleasures of Slowdive and Dave Chappelle, and a whole lot of talented people wrote, directed, played and created really cool things throughout the year.

The ad industry also went back over some of the same ground in 2017. Erin Johnson‘s sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit has yet to be resolved; meanwhile, Gustavo Martinez popped up in a new executive role at WPP. Diversity and transparency studies continue to be released, but the gap between ideation and execution stays stubbornly still on both fronts.

Big Things that didn’t happen this year: the consultancies didn’t come for your accounts (except maybe once or twice). No single, brilliant mind cracked the boutique business model, thereby rendering “legacy” agencies irrelevant forever. No individual figured out the perfect combination of platforms to promote potato chips.

But plenty of accounts changed hands in 2017. Many media RFPs were issued, and some big spenders abandoned the AOR approach just as a few famous names, like our friend Ian Schafer, said adios to agency life. Unfortunately, lots of people were also forced to look for new jobs—especially as the holidays approached—so that holding companies could continue to serve the needs of their investors.

So basically, it was another year.

There were some changes in 2017, though. The Super Bowl got political, Saatchi & Saatchi moved out of its longtime home and Publicis submitted to its AI overlord, Marcel. In recent news you did not miss, the year ended with one of advertising’s biggest scandals in recent memory, as The Martin Agency CCO Joe Alexander exited after 26 years and several sexual harassment claims. Since that news broke, many in the business have wondered aloud about which name might come next.

A certain in-house Pepsi ad was inarguably the most reviled of the year, while McCann’s “Fearless Girl” and BBDO New York’s “Evan” cleaned up at the awards shows that Publicis will be skipping in 2018.

We do need to address the no-longer-anonymous elephant in the room: This year our readers shared many comments about the changing of the comments, and the sentiment they expressed was almost universally MAD. As we continue to be absorbed into the ever-growing, maybe-organic mass that is Facebook, the only way for an angry copywriter to let the world know what he REALLY thinks about his ECD is to create a fake account. Or to use Fishbowl, which often links to our stuff anyway. Good luck with that UX. One reminder: the tip box is still 100% anonymous. And so it will remain.

People still clicked on our stories regardless, and algorithms are the only things that matter now … so here are the 27 most popular posts of the past 12 months.

A final note: as you’re drinking your way toward midnight on Sunday in hopes that 2018 might be a little better (spoiler: it won’t), please pour one out for Jexy and Nuno, who missed their friend’s bachelor party to come up with some great ideas for a creative review that their agency didn’t even win.

Long live advertising!