Goafest: Advertising union zindabad!

VARCA: A common emotion runs through the agencies: Better remuneration.

Almost every speaker at ”The Advertising Conclave--‘Preparing the profession for the new decade’ implied that the agencies were not being paid enough.
Said JWT CEO Colvyn Harris, “Agencies are not demanding enough, they give in too soon."

Harris was speaking at Goafest 2011 while Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) country head Rohini Abraham was presenting a report based on interviews with senior industry leaders and various clients. The topic of the session was “How have some Advertising Companies organised themselves for the new decade?”.

The report, presented by Abraham, highlighted the importance of long-term relationships. Also, social media is accelerating the growth and offers a great opportunity for advertisers, who can do much more by using it effectively and more efficiently.
The study stated that there should be a fresh approach towards consumer engagement. The agencies should look from the consumer’s point of view as there are a million touchpoints now.

Discussing the relationship between agencies and advertisers, Abraham said: “According to our interviews, the sentiments are same on both sides. The agencies are complaining, ‘We can’t attract, can’t retain good talents, and that is the real trouble’, and advertisers reply, ‘We can see that.”

When agencies complain that the remunerations are not good enough, the client reples: “Give me a value and negotiate. Value counts. I want the agencies to understand the consumer and his behaviour.”

On this, Harris added: “An agency charges somewhere between Rs 6 million to Rs 300 million. They don’t realise the kind of profit their clients are making.”

Detailing the report further, Abraham added: “Agencies say that TV and conventional media are still big and most important. Clients insist on creativity with the current media.”

The report also emphasised the client’s other concern - that agencies have very few people and high attrition rate.
The study concluded with high fives for the agency: talent, customer centricity, creativity, digital and technology and integrated communication.

“This is the way forward for the ad agencies”, Harris concluded.

He also advised agencies to do what’s best for the clients. “Build relationships that will last for 20, maybe 30 years.”

Harris also added that clients and agencies need to be more ambitious “because for any success, we need an ambition.”

He said different innovations will spawn big ideas and big delivery engagement and, hence, should be encouraged.

Harris concluded: “If we want the next Zuckerberg to be from India, new insights should be encouraged.”

Marketing guru Suhel Seth who was sitting in the crowd was randomly called upon the stage by Harris after he made a comment on the issue. Seth agreed with the touchy sentiment and complained that he left the ad world because it didn‘t pay well.

Yahoo! India CEO Arun Tadanki speaking at a different session did his bit to add fuel the fire by saying, “Agencies should focus on value and not money. They are not negotiating well enough and agree with terms very easily."

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