A few weeks ago I noticed that every single week, without fail, the main headline in Campaign told us that a big account was now up for pitch.
Not sure what today’s will be* (probably something rather exciting, just to make a mockery of the above and below), but I do wonder what that long run of accounts up for pitch could mean:
1. Lots of accounts are up for pitch. The simplest explanation is that for some odd reason of coincidence, the most important thing that happened every week from September onwards was the potential movement of an account. I suppose that’s possible, but then what does that mean? Lack of confidence amongst clients? A new trend for even shorter tenure of accounts? And why might that be? Economic jitters? Perhaps it’s a symptom of the downward spiral of the UK advertising industry that I’ve mentioned many times on this blog: the work gets worse, agencies have less credibility, clients have less confidence and trust in agencies to produce the goods, the atmosphere creates even worse work as the lack of trust takes hold, and then the account goes walkies. That sounds quite plausible.
2. The world of advertising has been quite dull of late. The front of Campaign used to have all sorts of far more interesting stories about so-and-so starting an agency or Mr. Volatile ECD being ‘ousted’. Either these are no longer happening or they’re not making the front page of Campaign, but then I don’t recall many such stories on the inside pages. Is UK advertising getting duller? I remember when January was full of stories about teams and CDs moving or new shops opening their doors. All the prep work would have been done at the end of the previous year (and besides, there’s no point announcing anything like that at the end of the year; everyone’s too pissed to care and will have forgotten by the time the holidays are over) and press releases fed into Campaign in the spirit of a new start to the new year. Anyway, that seems less prevalent this month, so maybe the budgets are tighter and the quietly-executed layoffs are making hirings lass common.
3. Campaign is even more boring than we thought. The running joke about Campaign lasting no longer than a Thursday morning trip to the lav (was that a joke, or is it just true?) is perhaps wearing thin as it struggles to fill its pages. It could be a consequence of the dullness of the industry, after all, with a dearth of interesting advertising or trumped up movements like the inexorable rise of digital, with what does it fill its pages? And I do sympathise: I’d like nothing more than a plethora of sparky ads and contentious issues with which to fill this blog, but it’s pretty dry out there.
So, out of interest, is it just me or is there nothing really going on? Is your agency producing top stuff that I’m not aware of? Has your ECD been replaced by the cleaner? Is there a phantom poo-er on the loose?
Answers on a postcard/comment section.
*UPDATE: The headline on today’s Campaign is also about some account under review.