Vox pop

While marketing services conglomerate Cordiant Communications Group is suffering financial woes, The Chase is rumoured to be planning a merger deal with ad agency BDH/ TBWA. What benefit can smaller independent groups gain from aligning themselves with ad agencies?

‘I guess there’s the promise of more work and the opportunity to work with someone else’s client base. But it would have to be a very persuasive deal to trade your independence for all those “profit forecast” meetings.’

Michael Johnson, Principal, Johnson Banks

‘Advertising and design can be a perfect match. The combo brings in clients, wider briefs and more responsibility. The test here will be whether this lot can pull off their communications love-in, or will it go the way of so many other “integrated” offerings, with both parties living together, but sleeping in different beds?’

Simon Manchipp, Director of design, No One

‘In an ideal world design and advertising should share a common language for the benefit of the brand, therefore it would be a bonus to work alongside an ad agency. In reality, it would only work if the two sides respect each others work and philosophy, and if the output is not just driven by financial gain.’

Pierre Vermeir, Creative director, HGV

‘New business opportunities are elusive enough nowadays, so the perceived benefit is the relatively easy access to a wider client base and a broader range of compatible specialist resources within the larger company. If the chemistry works there are huge benefits, but so often people don’t realise until it’s too late that the two disciplines are close, but not touching.’

David Pearce, Managing director, Tatham Pearce

‘New business introductions, creative stimulus, cross media synergy, shared overheads and realisation of capital come to mind. But beware the clash of cultures, and the clash of interests when budgets get divided.’

Mary Lewis, Creative director, Lewis Moberly

‘On the smaller group’s side the benefits can be money, leads, status, stability and on the incumbent’s it’s often a freshen-up and a broadening of their offer. However, looking good on paper is one thing, but most value is going to flow from a grass roots collaboration and a mutual understanding between merged teams.’

Nicolas Roope, Designer, Poke

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