In the age of agency labels -- media, digital, creative, social, "traditional" and more -- should the full service house be resuscitated? Has that process already begun?
"It isn't time to bring it back," said Paul Mead, founder and managing director of VCCP Media, during a panel at Advertising Week Europe in London. "But it's got to be time to be thinking about it."
Mr. Mead argued that the all-agency idea isn't the issue, but rather its ineffective execution. Clients bringing work in-house wouldn't immediately split capabilities up and form separate P&L's, he reasoned. In fact, in his experience, creative teams have often been inclined to use all of the resources they're provided, asking the questions that will tell them what is and isn't possible.
"I think full-service is already here," Mr. Mead added, "we're just struggling with the semantics of it."
Peter Souter, chairman and chief creative officer at TBWA London, also endorsed cross-departmental collaboration. "I don't know what I don't know," he said, "I like being in a gang and I think everyone will do better if they have more skin in the game." In 1999, during his 17 year tenure at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, such teamwork helped make "Surfer," a beautifully filmed Guinness ad, a better piece of work. Being able to go downstairs and talk over whether repeating the ad more was more or less important than the production value wound up giving the department a little more cash to make a superior spot.