PHD global CEO: 'race to bottom not best for clients'

PHD global CEO: 'race to bottom not best for clients'
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

Winning the global Unilever planning account has created "a lot of interest" from other major advertisers wanting to follow suit, according to PHD's global CEO Mike Cooper.

Last year PHD was named global media agency of the year by AdWeek Magazine in America, after winning the majority of the massive Unilever global planning account, something Cooper admitted they are still bedding in.

Mindshare retained the account in Australia.

On a rare visit to Sydney Cooper, who started the agency in the Asia Pacific region, told B&T the new global gamified collaborative work system Source was one of the key factors in grabbing that account from its rivals, citing the innovation it brings to global planning.

He said: “It's absolutely vital, it's a way of showing we're still up there as the leading strategic planning network. It's not just about winning awards, Source is a very innovative creative process.

"Innovation and creativity are not just about the work we do, but about how we work, and Source underlines that.

“There has been a lot of interest in the global planning communications, Unilever shifted their planning to us and we have been approached by a number of big advertisers about following a similar approach. Mondelez have followed that path and it’s a definite trend in our business."

Cooper said whilst he did not feel PHD naturally attracts braver or more adventurous clients “if a client is completely uninterested in creativity and innovation we'd probably be the wrong agency for them”.

He added: “We do like to win awards, and the major clients we work with value awards and they expect us to win awards, so we take it quite seriously."

Cooper also slammed agencies willing to “cut their own throats” to land clients in pitches, adding: “There’s been a bit of a race to the bottom, but I don’t think it’s in the clients' interests.

“You can’t tell me people are prepared to lose money on a sustainable basis. Smarter clients do make sure agencies make money on their business.”

Asia Pacific CEO Cheuk Chiang said awards are also important to the client, adding Unilever often checked with them to see how many entries they ahd made for big awards shows.

He singled out branded content as an area of real growth in the region, especially in Australia, but said clients needed to be educated on the benefits of the returns on the increased investment.

He added: “I don't think it's about taking creativity to a client and them buying it, it's about showing clients great innovation can deliver better ROI for their brands at a time when it's hugely valuable and when it will make their brands distinctive to their competitors."

Cooper said collaboration was also a key element of the PHD ethos, admitting “we can’t be good at everything”, but said they aim to be the “lynchpin” for their clients in the fragmented agency landscape.

He said: “You have to watch out though as if a marketer has six different agencies telling them they should have different priorities that can be confusing, so we have to work with all of them to come out with the definitive strategy for the brand.

“It raises issues of collaboration, and this is where we thrive as we have respect for agencies in other areas, we don’t want to be good at everything.

“We really encourage our agencies around the world to be as collaborative as possible.

“If we’re pitching for big pieces of business we will go talk to the clients’ partner agencies and develop a real plan for the client for the pitch, something of real value.”

With an eye on 2013 he said the network would continue to expand as it absorbs the Unilever work, but admitted “size in itself is not a strategy” adding: “There are and there are certain categories we would like to fill in our client portfolio, and we would like to win some really big names.

“We will also make sure Source is working to its optimum and people across the world are fighting it out to create the best possible ideas for all our clients.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]