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This Could Be the Year To Throw Away Rule Books — Ad Execs Expect Revolving-Door Relationships With Cost-Conscious Clients, New Infrastructure By Shelly Garci

LOS ANGELES – In 1992 ad execs in the West struggled

As clients require ever greater cost efficiencies and the competition necessitates ever more innovative solutions, the focus in advertising is likely to shift from people to systems, and staff and clients may become as transitory as each campaign.
Among the predictions for 1993, agency executives expect ad messages and the media buys that herald them will become far more targeted; computerized systems that deliver information to multiple locations instantaneously will become an integral part of the process of advertising; and below the line services such as direct marketing and sales promotion will become a critical element in the advertising plan.
‘It’s going to be very hard to have an advertising agency that doesn’t have at least some awareness of 800 numbers and databases,’ said Steve Hayden, chairman and chief creative officer at BBDO Los Angeles.
Some believe clients will trade in their agency-of-record relationships for alliances that last only as long as the project underway.
There’s some evidence that’s already begun to happen. Witness Coca-Cola’s relationship with Creative Artists Agency or Mattel’s current search for a third agency to work alongside its current shops, Ogilvy & Mather and Foote, Cone & Belding. ‘You’ll find more clients saying, ‘I want fresh blood and you guys can go head to head,’ ‘ said Jim Helin, managing director at DMB&B/L.A.
Talent will become more expensive. ‘The market is getting more and more like an athletic free-agent draft,’ said Jeffrey Goodby, co-creative director at Goodby Berlin & Silverstein/S.F. ‘Companies are starting to realize that a handful of really expensive and talented people can make a difference.’
Clients are already demanding greater media buying expertise. In 1993, agencies may need new skills – coordinators to integrate various functions and systems people to keep the computers humming. It’s all likely to mean a blurring of the line in the sand that’s separated the suits from creatives ever since the first adman wrote the first slogan. ‘What you need is the database knowledge of a Rapp Collins with the creativity of a Goodby Silverstein,’ said Hayden.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)

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