Ad agencies do not pose a real threat to the design industry

I welcome the ad industry getting involved in design (DW 13 July). Its no surprise that ad agencies are looking to design, and especially branding, as an income stream.

To quote Procter & Gamble’s Global Marketing Officer Jim Stengel in the Financial Times in April: ‘There is an elephant-size problem in the room – the conventional advertising model is broken.’

Even Saatchi and Saatchi recognises that 75 per cent of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale.

All this has been understood by brand agencies for a long time, but we have always had to fight for resources. With the ad agencies finally making amends for misspending their clients’ money for decades, they will inevitably attract more resources to design, which is an entirely good thing.

What they will then discover is that the current practitioners are highly competent and ultra-competitive.

Ad agencies may have woken up, but they have yet to get out of bed.

Steve Kelsey, Strategic innovations director, PI3, London W11

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