The advertising and media industries seem to have reached one of those stages again when teams and pockets and egos are stirring and everyone leaves. Within less than a month we have seen:
- in media: editors in chief move from Ringier's EVZ to Patriciu's Adevarul or Realitatea Catavencu's Cotidianul after only a couple of months ago we saw defections from Cotidianul and EVZ to Romania Libera and freelancing.
- in advertising: Leo announces practically a decapitation of its newly formed CD team, rumors abound that DDB have quit in corpore, McCann loses two GCDs, Lowe faces series of resignations, BBDO reshuffles management team.
Tonight, I sat for beer with an art director who'd resigned from Lowe and got a job at Leo hoping he would be working for the same man who had interviewed him while back at GMP. He wasn't going to though because that same man had just been fired....
People tell me that this has happened before but I think we are seeing the turmoil of two industries whose growth has been anything but organic. With budgets in media/advertising bordering on the ludicrous (Tolontan quotes KanalD man whispering "This is insane, this kind of money is not for real") the two industries have had either to poach people from competitors or to hire beginners with an appetite for quick money and little interest in doing the job.
In advertising, the results are severe: accounts come and go because changing teams usually means changing strategy and TOV and brands need consistency. Work quality suffers because new people need to develop the basic skills before they can go on to doing good work and since marketing cannot wait, bad work is getting put out in the meanwhile. Or the account moves again.
The causes: rapid growth and greed/opportunism. I would also include bad management and the rule of ego over business objectives.
The solution: try to take as big a piece of the pie as you can handle. Do good work for less clients and grow teams in the meanwhile. This will mean that you preserve accounts, grow margin, incentivise your people and as your reputation thrives you can attract more good people and good accounts.
Preserve perspective and balance because sometimes constant renewal is not the solution.
communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.