In a candid interview with DecisionMarketing, the former NTL marketing chief – whose own agency celebrates its tenth anniversary this month – claims agencies often lose sight of the fact that they are there to service clients.
He said: “Put simply, clients have problems and agencies should be there to deliver solutions. For a client, managing your agency should never become one of the tasks on a never-ending list of things to do – we are there to add value, not create issues.
“Clients don’t spend all day staring at creative and waiting until 5.30pm to tell us to make the logo bigger. They have greater challenges to deal with – not least of which is sales delivery. Account teams can learn a lot from understanding the pressures clients are under and just quite what being ‘brave about creative’ means in a corporate environment.”
Asked where agencies go wrong, Wheeler blasted: “In a word ‘arrogance’ – thinking that clients read our own trade publications like Campaign, believing their own PR and hype and thinking that they are more important than the client. An agency is only as good as the results of its last campaign.”
The move follows last week’s criticism of both Royal Mail and the Department of Health, with agency bosses lamenting Royal Mail’s incursion into their territory, while the DoH pitch was branded a shambles. An insider at the DoH has since responded by claiming the COI was too concerned with pandering to its agencies to properly service the needs of its own government department clients.
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