Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dumb: exclusive holding company contracts

Even though it's been known for awhile that BankofAmerica was going to cease doing all of its business with Omnicom, seeing the client pick a winner yesterday in its media review—Publicis Groupe's Starcom—makes it fresh once again to discuss how wrong-headed these exclusive agency holding company contracts with clients are. Inevitably, they fall apart, when there's a new CMO—and we know how frequent that is—or the client in question finds out that the agency holding company's services aren't all they were cracked up to be during the halcyon days of the review. It wasn't all that long ago (2002, in fact) that BofA gave its exclusive contract to Interpublic. Then it cycled through Omnicom, and now, although the marriage to Omnicom still, basically, exists, they're carrying on on the side with Publicis. Are you listening Da Vinci?

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