Consultants Meeting notes Photos Agenda
Amsterdam, April 24th, 2007
30 leading search consultants meet in Amsterdam to review global agencies.

The AdForum Worldwide Summit gathers agency search and advertising management consultants to meet with the CEOs from global agencies. These meetings are mixed with discussions and panels on themes relevant to the current issues of the industry.

Hervé de Clerck, founder and Dream Leader of AdForum: “The creative kingdom is dead, Vive la créativité”

The main findings of this Summit is that the re-integration of the advertising agency is finally coming to life now: First, the death of the creative department as a kingdom within the agency has now definitely been replaced by multi disciplined task forces, often integrating clients and other partners at the idea generation level and in a collaborative form.
Second, Amsterdam have attracted in their agencies people from dozens of different nationalities shaping the vision of tomorrows multicultural approach to communications in a global yet diverse world.

Adam Kirby, Saatchi & Saatchi: “We believe we can change the world”

The Summit started with a meeting with Saatchi Europe and Saatchi UK management team. The meeting focused on Saatchi UK recent transformation from an old world slow, cumbersome and old fashioned generalist agency to a new world intense collaborative shop full of velocity. Chief Strategic Officer Chris Chalk and Executive Creative Director Kate Stanners shared the various tools and processes used by the agency and used cases from small to big client to illustrate agency capability to generate agnostic strategic ideas and deliver business transforming creativity. Adam Kirby, Executive Director Business Development wrapped up the meeting revealing the Saatchi internal manifesto: “Work quickly, Share your ideas, Trust colleagues, clients and customers, Work differently to make a difference. Together we can do anything”

Joost Perik, BSUR: “We invented the blending of Design and Communications”

This small independent group of companies works for global brands out of Amsterdam since 1995 creating brands and communications platform with the goal of creating “Return on Branding”. BSUR claims that in a world of permanent change due to media fragmentation, brands need to be constantly moving. These brands need a map to define and maintain their identity. BSUR describes this thought process as “Brand Iconics” which allows the brands to appear in any medium while retaining its distinctive character.

Dan Wieden, Wieden + Kennedy: “Our independence is our positioning”

Dan Wieden flew from the US west coast to greet the select group of consultants with these words: “Located in Oregon, far from Madison Avenue people, beliefs and gossips has allowed us to find our own path our own way of looking at things, our own quest for a different language” and he added “our independence is our differentiation: it allows us to loose money on a new office until it gets right”. Commenting the current W+K presence in Amsterdam, New York, London, Tokyo and Shangai, Dan Wieden announced soon-to-open offices in Beijing, India and Argentina.

Dan Wieden defined the agency mission as to create strong relationships between good companies and their customers. While W+K is mainly known for its award winning campaigns for Nike and Coke, Neil Chistie MD London and Tim O’Kennedy, MD Amsterdam demonstrated with cases from Lurpack and Honda that their obsession for great provocative work could be applied to less sexy business sectors.

Brian Eliott, StrawberryFrog: “We are Open Source”

StrawberryFrog positions itself as a super strategic and creative communications agency doing high impact work that cuts through on multiple levels using innovative ways to dimensionalize ideas. Through examples like Tiger, they illustrated their strategic approach which starts with the identification of an idea that transcend the category and generates cultural currency. Then they create actions, events and communities and diffuse it in mass media, PR, content integration, direct marketing and online promotions.

Chris Mendola, 180: “Our secret is Big Idea + Collaboration”

Chris Mendola described his agency as a great place to work “We are good at collaborating” he said describing the emphasis he put into the quality of the relationship with its people and its clients. “A lot of failures comes from misplaced protective attitudes. Divisiveness kills” Chris Mendola described the core of the agency offering being at the level of creative head-start, leaving to the clients the decision to choose if they wanted execution implemented with other partners, knowing that integration is the big win. Chris Mendola admitted that they were better at focusing on their existing clients than at pitching new business. The agency puts Existing clients on top of its priority list along with building a successful “second door” in Los Angeles.

Kevin Allen,Lowe worldwide: “You had seen the Menu, now see the food”

In a follow up session of their New York demonstration of revival, Lowe packaged a presentation whose objective was to demonstrate the first results of their new positioning at regional and local level and show how it all come together: the “renaissance” in France, the new management in the UK, exciting developments in Sweden, all supported by integrated advertising cases celebrating Lowe’s motto: High Value Ideas.But the highlights of the presentation focused on Lowe’s joint venture with Scholz & Friends and the creation of LoLa.

Thomas Heilmann, Scholz & Friends: “a perfect fit”

Scholz & Friends has the same creative positioning as Lowe while it is geographically strong where Lowe is weak and vice versa. Sholz & Friends will lead the orchestra of ideas, but there is no project of acquisition by a party or another, says homas Heilmann.

Marc Rochet and Fernando Vega Olmos: “We bring a latin optimism”

Very enthusiastic CEO Marc Rochet presented Lola (for Lowe Latina), the Madrid based center of excellence with the concept of creating “la ilusion” when optimism becomes contagious and give the brand the power to create “ilusion” as illustrated by the ‘lovapaloosa’ for CloseUp campaign of the largest kissing crowd record!

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About AdForum Worldwide Summit

AdForum Worldwide Summit is held twice a year in the USA and Europe since 2002. It gathers leading search consultants from all over the world to meet with top management from global agency networks.

The goal is to provide the participants with up-to-date information on the current situation, objectives and development strategies of some of the global advertising companies, and provide an opportunity to network with major agency search consultants from around the world.

The Summit also includes working sessions focusing on new business in the context of account globalization, media fragmentation and agency re-invention.