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Agencies Should be Bolder in Promoting Both Themselves, and the Strides Made in our Industry

A recent article in Campaign posed an interesting question: If agencies believe in the power of advertising, why do so few advertise themselves?

If you’re familiar with Guerillascope, you will probably know that we have run our own strategically targeted TV advertising campaigns since 2012. You may also be aware that we’ve taken out press and display ads with the likes of the Financial Times. Allow us to explain why.

As strong advocates of democratising the market, Guerillascope has always believed that the power of advertising should not be the preserve of a relatively small number of brands. Indeed, having been founded in 2001 with the mission to make TV more accessible for thousands of business owners who don’t have millions to spend, you could say we were working ‘for the many, not the few’ long before it was adopted as the title of a political party’s manifesto.

Key to our approach, however, is the belief that fellow agencies within our industry have not done enough to promote the great strides made in advertising. This is particularly true of TV, where several misconceptions remain stuck in place.

Too few companies are aware that the costs of advertising on television are 28.6% cheaper in real terms than 10 years ago. Similarly, we’re still shocked by the number of decision-makers that do not know they can target highly specific audience groups, or flexibly optimise activity mid-flight to improve efficiency. Not enough has been done to promote the merits of testing, learning and building with scale, or that TV offers the lowest risk to ad investment and the highest likelihood of profit return. As for how different medias such as TV, digital and outdoor can work together? Thank goodness for Thinkbox.

So, if we wanted to contribute to the growth of the industry, dismantle myths, and expand beyond what Mat Goff, Joint chief executive at Adam & Eve/DDB calls “the relatively small pool of decision-makers potentially looking to move their business”, we knew we would have to be bolder in our approach.

To us, it seemed like a logical decision; one that dovetailed seamlessly with our ethos of constructively disrupting the status quo to fulfil the ambitions of advertisers. And it’s proved to be a successful one. We’ve won a lot of business off the back of it, worked with great people, and enjoyed the privilege of helping some wonderful brands stretch out their wings and soar.

Of course, this is not to undermine the importance of supporting the IPA; we are full members ourselves, and passionately support its cause. We've also entered and been shortlisted for awards, and firmly agree that the quality of their work is what agencies should be judged on.

Yet, as Kate Bosomworth, Chief marketing officer, M&C Saatchi, says in the original article, “We don’t need to just play in our own backyard and talk to our own neighbours, do we?” Ultimately, reaching out beyond the echo chamber of industry publications, award ceremonies and summits to showcase the power of advertising can only be a positive.