Monday, January 10, 2005

E-Trade Fires Omnicom, Hires Omnicom

The New York Times is reporting today that E-Trade has hired Omnicom as its agency. Figuring it was one of those holding company pitches, I was surprised they really just meant that E-Trade had hired BBDO, an Omnicom agency.

This, of course, is after they parted ways with Martin-Williams, an Omnicom agency. Previously, of course, the account was at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, an Omnicom agency.

Does anyone else think the holding company big agency model is flat-out un-American? Advertising has gone from being a hyper-competitive business to one where holding companies swap accounts among agencies. And clients keep hopping around, somehow thinking they'll capture the magic with an agency within the same holding group that probably has the same structure as their previous agency. Here in this country, we used to look at the Japanese model, where there were only two or three agencies handling all the accounts -- even working on competing brands -- and think it was so strange. Now our holding companies are doing the exact same thing.

I guess I'd call it progress if advertising was working better than it ever has before.

-- Dean Gemmell


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