POV: Should creative sister agencies be more collaborative?

By Shibani Gharat , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 17, 2013
Should agencies within a group be more collaborative rather than being competitive in their approach? afaqs! finds out.

Should agencies within a group be more collaborative rather than being competitive in their approach? afaqs! speaks to industry experts and fetches some answers.

Colvyn Harris

Josy Paul

Nakul Chopra

Manish Vyas

Colvyn Harris
CEO, South Asia, JWT

No, there cannot be any collaboration specifically when it comes to idea sharing.

For me, it is always the fact that a client comes first. And how can we collaborate if we handle conflicting clients? For example, JWT India handles Airtel while Vodafone is managed by Ogilvy India. Both of us - in spite of belonging to the same holding group - can never collaborate as our respective clients are adversaries.

Hence, there is no scope for sharing ideas. But, collaboration is a very broad term. We can definitely collaborate when there is a common programme. You can collaborate on the way Publicis Groupe does work or where it has a back-end company for all of the group agencies.

I think collaboration should only happen if it gives the holding group, efficiencies.

Josy Paul
Chairman and NCD, BBDO India

Collaboration is a strategic decision. It's based on the problem and opportunity at hand, and the strength and weaknesses of the individual agencies at play.

For example, sometimes at a pitch, it's good to go as two separate agencies because it raises the chances of winning as a group. At times, working together can help the agencies, when it comes to ideas. Where one of the group agencies has limitations, the other one can certainly step in and fill the gap. So it's all situation based, and there's no right answer to this.

The judicious use of brotherly competition and sisterly collaboration can create great impact for networks and holding groups.

Nakul Chopra
CEO, Publicis South Asia

Yes, there has to be more collaboration between agencies within one holding group. We collaborate to improve efficiencies within a group. At a global level, the group has created a company called Re:sources, which works on issues pertaining to accounting or infotech. What Re:Sources does is that it brings in an unified standard to these companies.

The Publicis Group owns a variety of advertising, marketing, public relations and media companies around the world. Many of these organisations were acquired and each one has their own unique way of functioning.

These are common issues across the agencies. Also, in India we have a Publicis India board where CEOs from various agencies within the group meet twice or thrice a year and discuss group strategies and individual agency issues.

Manish Vyas
V-P Marketing, VIP Industries

Yes, I think it is imperative that agencies should collaborate more often than not, provided that client confidentiality interests are taken care of.

Often, inter-agency collaboration does work and can be a win-win situation for both the group and the clients but not always, since there will be the case of conflict of client interest. But, very often, cross category learning can be transplanted.

Overall, I believe such a collaboration helps agencies to develop a great campaign simply because of great infrastructure and talent available across the group.

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