The Lure of the Multi-Agency Deal

The Unagency. That’s what one group is calling it. You know it as the multi-agency deal, and it’s become the new norm. Why?

Marketers see the multi-agency deal as a way to maximize the special talents of a group of agencies, without paying for the services they don’t need or use: digital services from the best digital shop they can find, event planning from a shop that focuses on events, design work from a brand identity shop, conceptual work from a traditional ad campaign shop. In 2011, that mix often includes newer, smaller, more nimble independent shops. They have the advantage of being hungrier and cheaper, by comparison to the mega ad agencies. This is heady stuff for marketers who have grown tired of dealing with the old agency bureaucracy, cost consultants, etc. So, what’s the downside?

Well… someone needs to coordinate all that inter-agency communication. Otherwise you get duplication, mis-matched assets, and missing elements. Worse, there’s no-one to turn to when disaster strikes, because no single agency is responsible, right? So what happens next? It spins apart into an unholy financial mess with a dollop of legal woes to top it off. Any profit you may have made with this amazing campaign is quickly eaten up by legal costs and unforeseen production errors. This you do not need. Especially since it can be avoided.

In response, many marketers attempt to handle the communication themselves, with mixed results. This is to be expected: you cannot run an ad campaign the same way you run a manufacturing empire: the language, culture and laws are different. Sooner or later, you’re gonna need help, and the more experienced the better.

In the past, we’ve acted as the central hub for talent issues for our clients, ensuring that contracts and payroll for both union and overscale (celebrity) talent are uniform across agencies, across all media, and around the world. In essence, we’ve been the glue, the central hub for talent issues for all parties involved in a multi-agency deal. We’ve protected many a client from unnecessary costs and production delays. That’s great, but that still leaves many areas of the multi-agency communication unprotected.

So we’ve decided to expand our offerings. We’re opening up our trove of resources, and in February 2012, will begin listing our recommended partners on our website for easier access 24/7/365. We’re creating a network of expertise that you can turn to whenever you’re feeling out of your depth and in need of an expert’s help. Feel free to contact them directly, or call us first for more information.