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A Challenge to GM and Chrysler for our Advertising Age June 11, 2009

Posted by Richard Shatto in Innovative Strategies, Marketing Strategy.
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This morning I came across a website that caught my attention big time. I’ve pondered the viability of a contingency model for creative and marketing firms for some time and now this young innovative firm, www.agencynil.com giving it a try.

The founder, Hank Leber, a 28 year old creative artist, decided since he couldn’t find a creative agency that would hire him, he’d create his own, but with a twist… HE’S NOT CHARGING FOR HIS SERVICES. Or, at least, he isn’t not charging a scheduled amount.

Instead, he’s going to let supply, demand, quality of work and the integrity of we human beings to set the price for his work. He has some formulas and stipulations set up to protect from up-front and production costs, but in terms of the firms creative labor, if someone decides not to pay, its FREE. Hank believes that won’t happen (too often), and there is more and more evidence in the marketplace that suggests he is right.

There is a new term for doing business by a bid process called “Crowdsourcing” that should be watched carefully for the next few months. Musicians, magazines, hotelsrestaurants and even shipping companies are giving the bid-for-service model a try.

I followed up on some of the on-line discussions and was not surprised to find the responses from the creative community, though mixed, are generally opposed to such a model. This should come as no surprise. Most marketers feel a little shudder go up and down their spines when they think of offering their services on contingency. But, there are examples within the professional communities (I use term generously) who have done very well on a contingency basis. Contingency law firms come to mind. I have a personal friend, a lawyer, lawyer who made many millions personally using the contingency model.

I put out this Challenge to BIG ADVERTISERS, like the automobile industry… GM, Chrysler come to mind. Ask your advertising agencies to compete with the likes of www.agencynil.com and may the best creative get the project. On a bid-for-service basis, you just may get more creative concepts to choose from among, and the quality of the work may even be a lot more a lot better than your current agency would like you to see.

Don’t expect your agency to jump at the idea.

Thank you to Kathleen @kathleenrake and Suzanne @srboaks, both at South Fraser Community Futures for the original discussion.

Richard Shatto
Wordstorm Communications
Facilitating Innovative Business Growth
34650 Baldwin Road | Abbotsford BC | V2S 7H9
C | 604-807-6334 | wordstorms(at)gmail(dot)com
LinkedIn | www.linkedin.com/in/rickshatto
Blog | https://rshatto.wordpress.com
Twitter | http://twitter.com/RickShatto
Skype | iamubiquitous

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