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A thought for ad agencies in 2017

Clients work with agencies to better effect change. In the changing times ahead (e.g. new US president; Brexit etc.) often less change happens. Uncertainty acts as a brake for clients who don’t want to take risks – instead they look to conserve resources to cope with changes, challenges and opportunities ahead as things become more certain.

Frustrated by a lack of change, and activity for their businesses, agencies then attempt to encourage clients to be ‘brave’ and take risks. This often frustrates clients into doing even less.

So what is the antidote to helping clients unlock change and making the most of the changing world they find themselves in?

It is an agency prepared to help their client ‘de-risk’ issues as they emerge.

It can be the incumbent or a new appointment. It doesn’t matter.

In many senses agencies who want to do better (and more) work with their clients in 2017 should be helping then to be ‘less brave’ and focus on their strengths, before trying something new.

After all, encouraging clients to be ‘brave’ in 2017, only shows an agency to be doing what they’ve always done, yet expecting different results!


[The above was based on conversations with brand owners around the world in December 2016]