The problem with small ad agencies: they think small.

Posted: July 10, 2010 in canadian advertising agencies, small ad agencies, Uncategorized

I’ve spent a lifetime in the ad business and still I am confused when confronted with the problems of a small agency. By small I mean less than 10 employees.

Most agencies like these have been started by an entrepreneur who has had some involvement with the marketing industry. In most cases it seems that the owner has a death grip on the agency. In one case, the owner of a small agency in Tulsa called me in to consult on new business.

After day one, I could see the problem. The owner was the creative director (although he couldn’t create), he was the senior copywriter (although he could not write) and of course he was the master art director (although he could not draw). All of his decisions were unquestioned and the creative department shuffled around with their heads down.

Small agencies need leaders. Not emperors. Let your creative people flex their muscles. Don’t give them ideas…get ideas from them. If you want to grow, the fastest way is to do the best work in town. Only your creative department can do that for you.

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