THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: What are the pros and cons of being owned by an ad agency?

Cordiant’s demerger sees The Rowland Company become part of the Bates Group

Cordiant’s demerger sees The Rowland Company become part of the

Bates Group

Dale Fishburn

Fishburn Hedges

’It has not provided anything yet (in terms of shared business) nor did

we expect it to. Long term it cuts us into new opportunities, more

contacts with more organisations - and a commitment to communications in

its broadest sense behind all that. Abbott Mead Vickers has a very light

touch, it buys quality outfits and sees what emerges. But ultimately, a

light touch, a portfolio approach, doesn’t add value - so we’re not

looking to be left alone.’

Larry Weber

Weber Group

’Having Interpublic as a parent gives us access to their stock, which

means we can make the acquisitions we need and which we couldn’t do on

our own. McCann Erickson is the largest of the agency global networks

with 160 offices, so if a client says I need an office in Beijing,

there’s already an office and a telephone, I just need to put someone in


Ferry de Bakker


’What Young and Rubicam has allowed us to do is to grow as it had the

financial resources we lacked. There is a synergy of costs in terms of

financial and tactical services. We’ve also been able to make serious

inroads into integrated communications. But advertising and PR people

have different cultures, you can see this in their approach to new


An ad agency will spend a fortune on new business pitches, we can’t

afford to do that. We can’t make money just on implementation which an

ad agency can. This can be a source of friction.’

Jackie Elliot

Manning Selvage and Lee

’We get the best of all worlds. We’re quite autonomous when we need to

be but present an integrated face when it suits us. We’re becoming very

good at presenting one voice, but it all tends to fall apart when we try

to present one invoice. Advertising and direct marketing people are less

comfortable operating on our remuneration basis.’

Adrian Wheeler


’I’m very lucky with Grey. They understand PR and have brought GCI a lot

of business. On the minus side, clients whose competitors work with Grey

are often unwilling to short-list us; when you’re part of a big agency,

perceived conflict can be a real pain.’

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