Holding companies have destroyed the soul of advertising.
The financial pressures of the holding companies on individual agencies has made those agencies just give lip service to great creative while really focusing on quarterly earnings, reduce agency flexibility in resigning or not taking clients that pay well but don’t fit the agency’s profile, and take away the risk-taking that is responsible for great creative work (but might, once in a while, push things too far and result in an account loss). Holding companies bear direct responsibility for tearing out the creative soul of advertising.
And, in some cases, for tearing out the creative soul of individual agencies.
Like the second-oldest ad agency in the world, Foote, Cone & Belding which was folded into Draft to become the much-loved DraftFCB. And other names like D’Arcy, Benton & Bowles and Needham were folded together by holding companies eager to do…what, exactly?
Who knows, but moving things is fun!
At any rate, it’s happened again, this time with Interpublic-owned St Louis shop Zipatoni which was just merged with fresh-faced, formed a year ago agency Rivet. According to AdAge, this brings a whole lot of talent in to Rivet. According to experience, this means a whole exodus of talent to independent shops that don’t have the bullshit of the big places.
Sell out to a holding company and you’ve sold your soul