Let us go back to a time before the 70s when the ad agency president was the integral part of the inner circle of the client. he knew more about the clients’ business than even the client himself. It was a time when the client sought the counsel of the ad agency’s president to overcome an issue.
This was a time of Y&R, Leo Burnett, NW Ayer, and the likes. The agency knew everything about the clients’ business from share prices to shareholders, from dealer networks, product pipelines to distribution systems. Everything that kept the client up at nights, kept the ad agency awake. This was a time when the ad agency focused purely on the client’s business and nothing else. They were determined on improving the client’s business.
However in the 70s the focus suddenly shifted from client’s business to the consumer. Account Planners from London’s successful ad agencies brought in new ideas and set the trend of focusing on the consumer changing the motto of every ad agency “The consumer is the king”.
The ad agencies started following the consumer’s every breath and the client business was completely neglected which resulted in the trust bonds between the president and the client being severed and the clients no longer consulted the ad agencies on business matters. The focus on the consumer created the image of ad agencies as the masters of consumers but not of the client’s business. Thus the PR Gurus, the planners, the management Pundits thrived and planning eventually killed the advertising.
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