The advertising-agency model is flawed. The good news is it’s simpler to fix than everyone thinks.


Issue 23: Fixing The Agency Model


The advertising-agency model is flawed. As an industry we do more and more for less and less money. Timelines are shrinking. And with the onslaught of social media and real-time marketing, we’re asked to find new ways to “go viral” and earn media without incremental compensation. When clients need new thinking, they go to pitch. Sometimes we even give away our best ideas. Some clients think of an agency’s “product” as a commodity readily available for a continually reduced price. But let’s not just blame clients and their procurement departments.

Much of this is our own doing. We show up for every pitch and we keep delivering more work for less. We pass all the benefits of efficiency and effectiveness on to our clients and only get paid for the time it takes to come up with an idea and to create an ad.

The good news is that it’s simpler to fix than everyone thinks. There are only three things we need to do to not only fix the flawed business model of advertising, but reinvent it:

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