The agency hopes to boost the quality of its work by touting internally, and to clients, a higher creative standard. If the challenge is met, as many as 25 teams of staffers could reap cash rewards of $40,000. Dubbed the Raymond Rubicam Awards, the honors are set to be given annually beginning in January 2001.
"The idea isn't to bribe people. I'm giving them recognition," said Chairman-CEO Graham Phillips, who is overseeing the attempted creative rejuvenation along with Vice Chairman-Worldwide Creative Director Ted Bell. "It'll be kind of a mini-Cannes within Y&R," he added, a reference to the industry's International Advertising Festival.
The new doctrine will be posted in the reception area of every Y&R office around the world; and employees, especially new ones, will attend training sessions on the philosophy.
The agency also plans to compile and distribute to its offices worldwide ads that embody the philosophy -- whether it's Y&R work or not.
"When the industry produces work that people don't have confidence in, it only makes things worse," Mr. Phillips said. "I've found whenever an agency does great work that works well for clients, the agency makes money."
Eligibility for the first Raymond Rubicam Awards began Jan. 1. Regional offices from around the world will be asked to submit a dozen or so candidates for the awards in April.
Then Messrs. Phillips and Bell and Young & Rubicam Chief Creative Officer Ed Vick will choose the finalists. Aside from the cash prize, award statuettes will be handed out at an annual event.