Just Asking

The creative boutique model is always one step away from extinction because the compensation for good work is still fundamentally flawed. The boutique that figures out how to get paid more justly, will be the creative genius of our times. I’ve always had great admiration for Nick Cohen and his Mad Dogs. He has certainly taught us a thing or two over the years. —

I don’t think so. It seems there’s a whole upstart of them coming now. In every market, it seems like there’s an entreprenurial interest among creative and business people to do things a different way. The key to any agency is business decisions and making the hard management decisions. Sometimes you just do the math, and the hole is too deep. And if the hole is too deep, it’ll kill you. Creative boutiques can suffer from being too creative and not taking care of the business problems.

Boutique agencies are having a hard time. I hate to see talented creative people not being successful, but it’s not enough to just be creative anymore. You have to differentiate yourself by proving your work is effective, not just creative. Just being another creative boutique isn’t enough anymore. I don’t think the creative boutique will become obsolete … all agencies will. Not right away, maybe, but they will have to change to incorporate different skill sets. TV and print skills won’t be enough—you’ll also need Web design, viral, DM, event/guerilla thinking. You won’t be able to sell clients on separate profit centers within an agency—they’ll want all of these services for one fee.