"I don't believe they have grown too big to be effective. After all, holding companies are made up of individual agencies. What has occurred, however, is the focus on `bottom line at any cost' that has created a stultifying atmosphere, particularly for smaller firms in the network."
-Philip Sievers/director-business development/Masius/New York
"Holding companies remind me of the fast-food industry. They keep adding items to the menu in the hopes of not losing customers, instead of focusing on their core strengths and attracting new [customers]. This is a defensive position. And while defense may win championships in sports, it is the forward thinkers and the innovators that will succeed in the paradigm shift."
-C. Norman Shaffer/president/707 Marketing/Seattle
"Of course they are too big now. There's a constant pattern in advertising: Small, innovative shops become bigger and bigger until they finally collapse under their own weight, helped along by competition from new, small, innovative shops."
-N. Charles Henss Jr./freelance copywriter/Chicago
"Holding companies were a great idea-a mass network combining resources where everyone benefits. But, we are biased to our own disciplines and, at times, put aside what is best for our clients in favor of hitting our numbers for the mothership. Advertising is and always will be one part science and two equal parts art and intellect. I fear this gets lost in the formulas and decimal points of Wall Street."
-Jonathan Schmit/account supervisor/A. Eicoff & Company/Chicago