Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Who are the 2nd thru 10th most overrated agencies of them all?

First off, jury duty is over. Hallelujah!

OK, so by now most of you know that Crispin, Porter + Bogusky was voted the most overrated agency in the land by all those who responded to Adweek's weekly online poll, winning by a landslide with 29 percent of the vote. I won't be making any judgments on whether this is just another example of the Crispin haters stuffing the ballot box because they're just so freakin' jealous that they didn't think of the Whopper Freakout, and they're not creative enough to get back at the agency any other way. No, I won't pass judgment, but, let's face it, Crispin was such an obvious winner in this poll, that it's actually more, um, illuminating to see how the other agencies in the poll fared. Here's the rest of the list, which is only in the print version of Adweek:

2. Droga5: 16%
3. StrawberryFrog: 15%
4. BBDO: 9%
5. Anomaly: 8%
6. TBWA/Chiat/Day: 6%
7. RGA: 5%
8. Naked: 5%
9. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: 4%
10. Wieden + Kennedy: 4%

6 comments:

Peter Franks said...

You say you "won't be making any judgments on whether this is just another example of the Crispin haters stuffing the ballot box because they're just so freakin' jealous that they didn't think of the Whopper Freakout, and they're not creative enough to get back at the agency any other way" -- but that's exactly what you're doing. I don't know if you're trying to be cute, coy or clueless.

The fact of the matter is, not everyone who criticizes Crispin is a "hater." I, for one, think they are overrated to some degree -- and I say that as someone who admires much what they've done in the past.

Unlike, say, Droga5 or Strawberry Frog, Crispin has a string of impressive accomplisments to their credit. And I have no doubt that they will continue to pull more rabbits out of their hat for some time to come.

Nonetheless, when it comes to the work itself, there's no denying that there has been a significant slippage in quality in the past few years.

Sure, the Whopper Freakout is brilliant. But their initial efforts for Nike and Domino's are lackluster at best, insipid at worst. Volkswagen is a mixed bag: some cool stuff to be sure, but not anywhere near the level of their work for Mini. And let's not forget the Miller and Orville Redenbacher debacles.

In fact, apart from BK and Coke Zero and some of the VW work -- which, admittedly, constitute a fairly impresive oeuvre -- I'd be hard pressed to think of anything Crispin has done that's been mindblowingly brilliant of late.

Of course, the same can be said of most agencies these days. And Crispin still has a better batting average than most.

The bottom line is, Crispin is good. Very, very good. They're just not quite as good as the unceasing hype and uncritical adulation would have you believe. I think that's where much of the so-called backlash comes from.

Labeling everyone who voted Crispin the most overrated agency in the country as a "hater" seems childish and unworthy of you. Doing so precludes open, intelligent debate. There is already far too much immaturity and irrationality on both sides of the coin for you to contribute to it any further.

Catharine P. Taylor said...

actually I thought I was being cute, coy, clever maybe, but certainly not clueless.

The truth is that for whatever reason, in the ad blogosphere, Crispin is the agency people love to hate. (Or they seem to anyway.) So, just making fun.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Peter Franks. Droga5 and Strawberryfrog.

Both Scott and David are publicity whores are are more concerned with their public profiles than the building clients brands or sales. Any event - guess which two are speaking...

Droga5 won agency of the year from Creativity? Gimme a break. They are a new shiny toy and Dave's charm and PR skills have enamored the US journalists. He is famous on the back of a lot of scam and 'pro-active' work for non-paying clients.

Scott - don't even get me started on that desperate hack. What have they ever done that's great?

Wieden, Crispin, Goodby etc at least have done great work on real clients over the years.

End of rant.

Tom Messner said...

Isn't it better to be overrated than underrated?
What's the angle in being underrated?
Being correctly rated will only be an accident and very short-lived anyway.
Better to be overpaid than underpaid, although in the early 70s Martin Puris, before starting his own agency, argued wittily and interestingly that it was better to be underpaid.

Jae J Coles. said...

the industry needs agencies to hate, it's an easy defense for us, because we know are we probably never going to get a job with them. and who doesn't secretly wish they had a moment in the Crispin spotlight?
They have earned their hate and they probably relish it.


Anon, i second your Frog comments but am going to call bullshit on your savaging of Droga. I for one have always be a big fan of his work and followed it across the continent to here. That UK army stuff was amazing, And his Monster campaign brilliant. Nspcc, club 18-30. I don't know if his agency deserved Agency of the year or not, but shit, their work so far is pretty damn fresh. Ecko, Tap, even the new phone stuff.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

peter franks speaks the truth. people hate crispin because it saw the future and everyone else didn't. and consequently they got too much publicity. nice problem to have. and not their fault.

what are the poor ad journalists supposed to write about? the cool happenings at McCann Erickson?