Don't let trust in agencies head towards real estate agency levels

Cummins&Partners head of media, Paul Murphy
By Cummins&Partners head of media, Paul Murphy | 4 July 2018
Paul Murphy

On this day in 1776 the United States declared its hard fought independence. However, at the start of the Revolutionary War the desire for full independence from Great Britain was considered radical.

Today our industry needs more radicals.

I love the work and the people (on all sides of our divides), but don’t love the direction that it is heading.

The challenges facing our industry read like a shopping list. Unfortunately many are self generated.

Trust in agencies is heading towards real estate agency levels, with the current solution being to drive fees down further and to instead hide profit through opaque charges in a complex supply chain.

Collaboration with clients and between agencies is only at the end of a gun. People and careers are managed as numbers on a spreadsheet.

Instead of the idiom of the customer being right, many of us now bow down at the altar of profit whilst praying to the God Shareholder.

As a group we talk about the challenges of preparing for a future with as yet unknown technology.

The future of media and agencies isn’t at risk from technology, it is being mortgaged by diseased cultures and practices that legacy agencies are finding hard to cure. And it’s almost terminal.

Whilst the legacy agency models will cease to exist, the need for a media agency wont. An independent objective opinion has more value now, than it has ever done.

Advertising has two types of people. institutional and independent. It takes a different set of skills and mindset to work in independent structures. It isn’t for everyone. But it is needed now.

Today on Independence Day I celebrate the rebels that keep the fire burning.

We need people in the industry that are free to be the rogues that call out the emperor's new clothes and challenge the status quo. We need change agents.

As an Independent agency, we want to do things differently. And so this is how we are putting trust back into our industry:

  • Flexibility for clients to trade across all media partners, unrestricted by annual deals that could drive agency revenue.
  • Programmatic trading tools that give client’s full visibility of their investment, access to and ownership of their data.
  • No hiring freezes that slow the hiring of staff that are funded by clients
  • The ability to make local decisions to invest in people over profit

Cummins&Partners raises a toast to the clients, the marketers and business owners. Without you the great work that agencies put into market wouldn’t be possible, and neither would we.  

We look forward to playing an integral part in helping to build and secure an industry for the future.

By Cummins&Partners head of media, Paul Murphy

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