from Chris Arnold, creative partner, Feel Agency, London
Sir; Siemon Scamell-Katz's letter (The Grocer, January 4) really hit the nail on the head. Having worked at a number of big above-the-line agencies as an integrated creative director (there aren't many of us about) I was always shocked by the silo' mentality of this part of our industry.
TV is a powerful medium which can be highly effective if you have the money. It can be sexy, impactful and win loads of awards (mainly for the agency, though). However, it isn't the only one available to clients, although few ad agencies are interested or experienced enough through-the-line to offer anything else.
Agencies need to take a more broadminded view (call it media neutral, if you like) and provide clients with the right solution to each brief, not just what they sell every other client. This would seem to be common sense, really ­ although, sadly, it's not so common in practice.
It's well known that up to 85% of the buying decision can take place in the retail environment, so why do so few ad agencies show any interest in taking their big idea' there? They all talk integration, but how often do they deliver it?
As a creative I see no difference in the challenge. Whatever medium I work in I get the same thrill from producing something original, eye catching and effective.
Clients need to be prepared to get tougher with agencies that always solve every problem with a TV ad, especially when some of the most talked-about ideas of the last few years weren't.
The number of strategically driven creative agencies that think through-the-line is growing, so agencies which are not doing so should consider the fact that clients can shop around and get a better deal.