TIME Introduces Europe to Virtual Agencies Through StrawberryFrog

By Matt Van Hoven 

TIMEeurope is as best we can tell just like its American counterpart. General, informative, and in the case of a story written about the advent/rise of the “virtual agency”, open for much debate. TIME takes a look at the next threat to traditional agencies: the small, nimble agency. But what the piece fails to recognize is the tried and true saying, “history repeats itself.”

The piece begins by describing one of StrawberryFrog’s latest endeavors, a faux kid’s book about dinosaurs. You know the Bureaucratosaurus “for its long meetings and piles of paperwork. The Egosaurus never listens to anyone.” Of course this book is referring to traditional ad networks of the type that are encumbered by their own internal toe-tripping. This paragraph sums up the story:

“Unlike conventional ad agencies bogged down by bureaucracy at hundreds of offices worldwide, virtual operators focus their smaller, more nimble operations using the Web to hook into a worldwide network of freelance creative directors, art directors, copywriters and designers. StrawberryFrog’s 20 full-time staff, from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, France, the U.K., Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, operate in cyberspace with a network of about 50 experienced freelancers.”

Missing from the piece is any hint of the rift between Goodson’s agency and his former partners, now purveying Amsterdam Worldwide. Had the group not parted ways, StrawFrog may have been a more global, less virtual agency. May have been.

But today it’s the kind of shop TIME says will hurt the big guys, which has always been the case, since the first agencies got big. Though this piece focuses on the nimble, techy flexibility of the smaller agency, it’s really stating what you already know: big ships can’t turn on a dime.

More:Founding Agency Cuts Ties with Straw. Frog Team