Ken Convoy Rants Rich About Agency Arrogance
Ken Convoy's got a few agency-ready business models proven to save tons of money and make clients love you more. He can do it all at a fraction of the cost most agencies can, and with less than 10 people involved.
What are these big ideas?
We don't know.
Who is Ken Convoy?
Um ... a dude who runs a one-man agency in Santa Barbara, CA.
But hey, Ken is willing to convey his winning, proven models to any kingpin agency willing to talk to him. The problem is, nobody's passed him more than a few friendly emails, followed by the inevitable brush-off.
In this post right here, Ken (sometimes eloquently) details his attempts to penetrate the iron curtain of "agency arrogance" with zero luck.
His livid conclusion: "Clearly, if you're a client or agency stockholder, your agencies are developing creative for the 21st century using ineffective and outdated 1970s methods that suppress the return on your advertising investment and inhibit you from reaching your goals.
"They are creating the equivalent of typewriters in the computer age, eight-track tapes in the era of iPods, rotary phones at a time when cell phones are state-of-the-art. And they have no problem doing so."
Convoy makes a valid point: Like any established sector, old-school ad agencies are married to a number of time-honored business traditions, for better or worse.
The list of publicly-owned agencies Convoy contacted is embarrassing. It includes business bests like BBDO, DDB, Draft/FCB, JWT, Ogilvy, and Leo Burnett.
But Convoy overlooks the myriad new, exciting and forward-looking agencies that are springing up every day -- small agencies like his own, with excited execs willing to talk to him.
In the wake of three-step user publishing and online consumer backlash, the worst agencies are seeking footing where now there is little or none. There are a thousand reasons why they're slipping: the old models have stopped working, big business has trouble changing, there may be pride and politics involved, and sure as hell there's bureaucracy around every corner.
Like the fall of the South after the Civil War, only the best and toughest agency dinosaurs will survive this onslaught of CGM, product evangelism and new school creativity.
Adding to that, execs hear pitches like Ken's about 20 times a day. Each Ken prototype comes bright as a bulb, dripping personal accolades and convincing financial figures. To reach a decision-maker in any big firm, you yourself need to be willing to do more than pass along a few emails and try nailing them down to an appointment. You need to show them a little bit of creativity.
And even then -- even if they fucking love you -- consider all the people a bigwig's got to answer to. Nobody takes a bright young consultant on and lets him change the way things have been done for thirty years.
Let's be fair. Would you?