If clients think they can fire agencies, or agencies feel like washing their hands of clients, they may have to rethink.
Because now, in town, is a company that tries its best to prevent such a situation. It calls itself Aprais.
The UK-headquartered company, which is entering India through a JV with ex-JWT senior executive Sunil Gupta's Sting Communications, is in the business of building and preserving relationships between clients and agencies.
In a more business-like language, Aprais is a marketing communications consultancy which works with marketers and their advertising, direct marketing, PR and other communications agencies to help interact together more effectively.
Gupta, as country head - India & Sri Lanka for Aprais, will market and manage the Aprais process across the Indian subcontinent.
The service that Aprais brings to the table is a state-of-the-art, completely online process using proprietary web-based technology. Using these processes, the company enables the complex relationships between clients and agencies to be measured, and managed. Agencies are ultimately paid in accordance to their measured performance.
In essence, Aprais facilitates clients and agencies arriving at equitable solutions for agency compensation.
Aprais, according to Malcolm Rankin, the agency's chairman for the APAC region, has a client base that includes well-known brands like Nestle, Renault, Philips, Emirates, Toyota, Kimberly Clark, GSK, etc., and agencies like O&M, Lowe, JWT, McCann, BBDO, Publicis, Euro RSCG, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi in different parts of the world. The company has been in operation since 1997.
Aprais, with its vast accumulated data and specialist knowledge, intimately understand global issues and local trends. "More than 16,000 individuals have completed the online Aprais questionnaire, and in the last one year, we have reported on nearly 2,000 relationships across some 450 clients across the world," Rankin informed.
Gupta, on his part, said, "Many clients and agencies that we are talking to in India are already familiar with Aprais through their counterparts using it in other parts of the world; the level of acceptance of the 'partnership' philosophy that Aprais espouses is very heartening. We are looking at about 200 relationships in India over the next four years. In Asia excluding Japan, Aprais currently runs 750 systems."
He added, "Our philosophy is to focus solely on relationship appraisal and performance enhancement work rather getting into peripheral areas which could potentially put us into conflict-of-interest situations. And, we don't do media audit as Meenakshi Madhvani/Spatial Access does."
As an example, Aprais recently conducted an analysis of Nestle Australia's scores of multiple agency relationships over seven rounds. During that time, these scores increased from an average of 56.7 per cent in Round 1 to 73.1 per cent in Round 7, a 28 per cent increase in the way the client perceived the agency's performance. Rankin contends, "This could only have happened because of the client's continued reliance on the Aprais system and the agencies' trust in us."
"We do not see our role as being an agent for either the client or the agency, but rather the agent of the relationship between both. A better relationship naturally lends to better work and ultimately, a better return on investment (ROI) for both parties," he adds.
"In fact, our annual fee structure - $13,000 - is structured in such a way that the client and the agency contributes equally in it. For our partners, we are an investment and not a cost," Rankin concluded. © 2005 agencyfaqs!