Lockdown Week 6

As we roundup Week 6 of lockdown, we review the key points of Marketing that have taken place this week. We clearly are at an inflection of unprecedented change, we review several webinars and key articles – for those working in strong businesses there are immense opportunities – for those furloughed the chance to reflect and come back stronger. What we are all experiencing is hard, it’s a struggle, but by communicating we can help each other. The talk of business and pitches is happening again. I hope you enjoy the long VE weekend.


As lockdown goes on there is the deeper fear of recession, Bank of England predictions this week didn’t look good, Sir Martin Sorrell, of S4 Capital predicts that this downturn is a “reverse square root” – a sharp downturn, then a quick partial rebound, before a plateau at a lower level than the pre-COVID period. The picture varies by sector, with fast-moving consumer goods and tech well-positioned, while travel brands will struggle. Sorrell argues that the advice to spend your way through this recession is “patent nonsense” for companies that have seen distribution evaporate.


  1. So with this in mind, first off we take a look at the Agency Lessons from Recessions and the Cog Blog produced by BJ and A. This piece discusses what most marketing advice has been peddling that line – to be the smartest – keep spending at this time, when the competition slows or stops thus raising share of voice. The flaw being if everyone follows the same marketing advice then share of voice remains the same, and for many distribution channels have simply disappeared.

Here is the link: http://www.bjanda.com/blog/agency-lessons-from-recessions/


  1. Secondly, we review Craig Mawdsley’s article from Campaign magazine. Craig argues there will be a recession, and if your brand is in a category that suffered in 2008 you’re probably at risk of it this time around. A really insightful read, it may well be the wealth of data amassed through having all transactions online through Covid-19 that gives Marketeers this time the alacrity to rebuild.

Here is the link: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/learned-crisis/1682135


  1. Thirdly, in a change from the norm, an article by Herminia Ibarra – the Harvard Business review is always a good source of thought provoking stimulus. This one looks at Career challenges and reinvention that has been a topic of many recent Lockdown discussions with friends and colleagues.

Here is the link: https://hbr-org.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/hbr.org/amp/2020/04/reinventing-your-career-in-the-time-of-coronavirus


  1. Fourth, we take a look at a Blog piece from the Marketing Centre which compares marketing to the GB Olympic team and the story of marginal gains. The concept of marginal gains is simple: instead of looking for groundbreaking innovations, find and make small improvements wherever possible. By making 1% improvements across a range of areas, your overall performance will be dramatically improved.

Here is the link: https://blog-themarketingcentre-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/blog.themarketingcentre.com/covid-19-perfect-your-marketing?hs_amp=true


  1. Fifth, we followed the MDC and Partners webinar with our consultancy colleagues in the US, and the feeling of a return to normality there is less than a flicker. They are about 4 weeks behind us in terms of the pandemic but this research of the MDC panel shows weekly how emotions are changing. Before we fly again industries will significantly change. We attach this excellent executive summary.

Here is the link: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e7cc8c2f71691717bfc53ef/t/5eb2ff6f76530b42abb00ec2/1588789106208/MDC_HarrisPoll_Wave9_v1_050620.pdf


  1. Sixth, we highlight the new Fix Merchant+ from the US which goes deeper into the core topics of retailing and the usual Friday Fix. Direct to Consumer has seen a big rise on both sides of the Atlantic. At a News Webinar – Steve Chantry CMO of Kraft Heinz spoke of the 10% increase in new customers Kraft are having from a bundled DTC pack for the first time.

Here is the link: https://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=80025f160be434835759d292b&id=1c1ad5f634


Time for the Work: and hats off this week goes to VCCP and Cadbury for their lovely new work and indeed packaging, the creative just gets stronger and stronger.https://www.vccp.com/en-gb/work/cadbury/this-doesnt-have-to-end


A big shoutout this week goes to Uncommon London, for sending us a candle introducing ‘the Scents of Normality’ Uncommon have collaborated with expert Candle makers Earl of East to help raise money for an incredible charity. Each candle capturing some of the places we’re all missing during lockdown: The local, The cinema and the Festival. We just can’t wait to know what the sequel scents will be if lockdown continues: https://www.earlofeast.com/collections/scents-of-normality




‘Reciprocity’ -  is a big theme going forward – with consumers wanting to support those brands that have been good to them. Tip of the week: always be kind.


For Media Gurus, there is a report out next week – The Future of Media Trading – Mediatel News Editor – David Pidgeon talks with ISBA Director General and a Partner at PwC – May 14 at 10.30am BST, they will look at some of the stats the report reveals. Ohhh and look to find the missing 15% that cannot be found in the entire supply chain. https://info.mediatel.co.uk/en-gb/mediatel_digital_events


We end the round up – back in Henley for VE weekend. There is no Henley Royal Regatta and no Henley Festival this year, but we came across this lovely old piece of 2 minute film. Boats will soon be back in the water, we look forward to seeing you soon – may these times come back soon. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pCvu_ykXhfk&feature=youtu.be#menu


So there is a possibility of some lifting measures from the Prime Minister on Sunday. Germany is eyeing an accelerated return to normality. UK brands are preparing for a partial lockdown lift – some advocate it’s not the time for pulling back on spend – but the time to be bold. We are looking to help you with your agency reviews and wider marketing projects. Please do get back in touch.


Kind regards,



For more information visit: http://haiconsulting.com/category/views/

Lockdown Week 5

As we roundup Week 5 of lockdown, we review several key articles that have appeared that define the future of marketing after lockdown. The majority think the UK advertising market will contract at 40% in Q2, its quite gloomy, but this week most agencies seem to have turned a corner and have become busy preparing communications for brands in a post-Covid world. For those furloughed at home, we hope the following links are helpful. There is some evidence of brands beginning to evaluate where to review their communications. We review why Zoom calls make you knackered and finally include two ‘appetising links’ for lockdown. Is WFH time coming to an end?

  1. The first up is a real gem by Rishad Tobaccowala, quite simply a must read. Rishad highlights the Great Re-invention for the post COVID world. It will not be business as usual, it is absolutely critical that businesses use the next 4-6 weeks to get ready for the re-emergence. As he states the future does not fit into the containers of the past. “You are not falling behind your competitors, you are falling behind your customers.”

Here is the link: https://rishadt.wordpress.com/2020/04/25/the-great-re-invention-resurrect-now/

  1. Secondly, a piece published within Digital Intelligence looks at the cuts to all forms of marketing activity in the UK, dropping 6.1% overall, but the IPA Bellweather report asks Marketers to think twice, before pulling spend.

Here is the link: https://digitalstrategyconsulting.com/online-advertising/marketing-budgets-drop-at-fastest-rate-since-last-recession-amid-covid-19-crisis/47423/

  1. Thirdly, we review the table released by Warc/Advertising Association. If you work in cinema advertising then Q2 just wasn’t your quarter. This table was also featured in Gideon Spanier’s piece for Campaign from the Advertising Association website.

Here is the link: https://www.adassoc.org.uk/resource/record-2019-uk-adspend-forecast-to-fall-2020/

  1. Fourth, Mark Ritson debates ‘marketing is infamously a discipline without discipline.’ Half of all marketers in this country aren’t only bereft of any formal training in the subject, more than half are also comfortable with the idea that marketers don’t need marketing qualifications to be able to do it. The long standing CMO Survey results from Duke University are also explained and it’s a good read.

Here is the link: 5 day free access so don’t delay: https://www.marketingweek.com/mark-ritson-marketers-strategic-responsibilities-eroding/

  1. Fifth, we give a shoutout to Simon Andrew’s – Addictive, who sends us his newsletter each week called Friday Fix from the US – there’s always something new to learn in ad serving technologies / media consumption and what’s changing over there.

Here is the link: https://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=80025f160be434835759d292b&id=992658d83a

  1. And lastly, we reviewed just one webinar this week from the Marketing Society, and from it comes a pithy list of tips on what to do with your Linked-In profile in lockdown.

Here is the link: https://marketingsociety.com/event-review/10-ways-rock-your-profile-linkedin

Time for the work: with the UK midway through lockdown there are fewer new campaigns. This one ‘Ode to Shut-down sport’  created by agency Iris for Adidas, points to hope for the future, we think it’s spot on! https://adage.com/creativity/work/adidas-ready-sport/2253016

Why Zoom calls make you knackered? A BBC worklife study found video calls require more focus than a face-to-face chat. Video chats require us to work harder processing non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, and body language, paying more attention, and all these consumes more energy. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200421-why-zoom-video-chats-are-so-exhausting?ocid=ww.social.link.linkedin

Back to Henley, how would you launch a new Gin during lockdown. Here is the link to the Hobbs Henley Gin story, it’s strong stuff. http://www.different-perspective.club/an-interview-with-the-founders-of-mr-hobbs-gin/

And finally, we would like to thank Atomic London for sending us this appetising treat. The Quality Chop House is a super – down to earth – traditional restaurant opposite their office and the ‘Mince on Dripping Toast’ there is just amazing! How kind of them to point out the secret recipe was released in this week’s Sunday Times, no better way for getting through lockdown. For the Quality Chop House recipes: chicken pie, mince on dripping toast and more:https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/3ce6fedc-8319-11ea-8a4a-4fb1a38ed7a5?shareToken=76e25bb991ec493db8fe65ac774640c6

So, with brands preparing for the Lockdown-lift we are looking to help you with your agency reviews, evaluations, and marketing projects. Please do get in touch, we will be happy to help you.

Kind regards,



For more information visit: http://haiconsulting.com/category/views/

Lockdown Week 4

Another week in lockdown and our review of the relevant points in Marketing this week. We highlight two WFH webinars, an interesting view from Craig Mawdsley, review the links below – and some that frankly made us smile.


  1. The Cog Blog from BJ&A: This one looks at what the agency world will look like after lockdown on return. Whether you follow the Hoffman view, or the Ritson view there will be less money to go around, by far the majority of costs in agencies is staff – agencies will have to cut back. There are already signs of this with the holding companies preparing themselves, the markets, and their staff for redundancies. An unfortunate, but inevitable position.

Here is the link:



  1. The Marketing Society this week had a Global webinar from 7 markets, chaired by the outgoing CEO Gemma Greaves. This looked at the challenges Marketers face and how they can act smartly. The key points are included below: The pandemic allows the resetting of communication values; the opportunity to leapfrog for direct to consumer businesses; it’s time to stop thinking like marketer and think more like owner; when consumers are going to reward people that speak plainly and share empathy with them. Edward Bell (from Cathay Pacific) drew on the learnings from SARS and that how it was the time for the craziest ideas, now is the time to go for it. For marketers the need to manage your time well between problem solving, forecasting and time spent on Zoom calls. Our view remains marketing is ‘responsible for growth’ as soon as the lockdown is lifted the drive for growth will be absolutely insane.

Here is the link of the summary:



The big news from Procter and Gamble came this week. P&G are ramping up marketing amid coronavirus demand: ‘This is not a time to go off-air’. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, advertisers are all grappling with the same quandary: to spend or not to spend. Procter & Gamble has committed to the former. So with Essity, Kimberly-Clark and P&G upping spend, and with Essity appointing AMV BBDO for paper, the battle for loo roll leadership is set to be supported by new advertising.


We highlight Craig Mawdsley’s view on Think with Google, ‘How to lead brands through the steepest learning curve of our professional lives’. It’s a positive spin and a good condensed read. His tips: ‘Don’t be self serving; don’t be cynical; don’t talk like an organisation. Do the right thing, and keep doing it when this ends.’



Time for the work: Congratulations for NHS work this week, the Stay at Home campaign delivered by St Lukes, and Uncommon for producing this creative work for ITV under lockdown. Brilliant!



Our Weekly Applause: goes to R\GA New York, when asked for a photo of the senior management team for the AdAge awards, they responded with an image of everyones first name that works there. Great response, they’re all equally wonderful.





The talk of marketing’s terrible buzzwords, whether the excruciating use of  ‘circling back’, ‘diarise’, ‘deepdive’ upsets you – the word ‘Ideate’  (with nearly 4000 votes) is the winner in BBH’s World Cup Series of Marketing’s most terrible buzzwords.





And finally, it’s not often you get the HRH to do a comedy sketch with Stephen Fry, BBC’s ‘The Big Night In’ featured this week with Comic relief and Children in Need. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ifv6ZOuvw


So another week passes, sanity in Henley comes from frequent exercise and walks along the river. We are in lockdown (for another two weeks), but fortunate to live in such a lovely area. We’re here to help you on your marketing /agency review projects from home for now, or over Zoom, so do get back intouch.


Kind regards,



For more information visit: http://haiconsulting.com/category/views/

Lockdown Week 3

This week we review three more webinars, highlight three pieces of creative work – we have had various calls with Agency CEO’s in the UK, we have also caught up with a couple of agencies by Zoom in New York. It’s been a week when many have tried to get on with those always delayed household DIY chores.

  1. First up is Mark Ritson’s review of Marketing in Coronavirus and what it means for Marketeers going forward. Mark excellently highlights the serious implications, as well as the important role Marketeers play in term of generating profit and keeping the economy going. Mark lists the different modes that companies are working to, whether a flex, fix, or freeze mode. And goes on to look at the role of changing marketing departments during the crisis. At this point – he sees 2020 as a tactical pinpong match, brands should be taking time out but thinking 2021 as the strategy year when things begin to re-emerge. If you have the time, this is a ‘must watch’ for anyone really.

Here is the Link: https://vimeo.com/405854307/56ea8cdd5d


  1. Adweek ran its live webinar on Covid 19 on Tuesday and looked how agencies were coping in the lockdown, there are some interesting comms learnings from the US.

Here is the Link: https://www.linkedin.com/video/live/urn:li:ugcPost:6655856085263536128/


  1. One of the more light hearted pieces this week was the Ongoing series ‘marketing in pyjamas’ – watch towards the end, ‘pad of the week’ goes to former Unilever supremo Keith Weed – there is hope for all Marketeers going forward.

Here is the link: https://www.tribegroup.co/marketers-in-pyjamas

There’s space in Our Weekly Review for the Annual Campaign School Report, released today, it’s a ratings we often use when finally shortlisting agencies. https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/school-reports-2020-sibling-rivalry-sparks-change-top/1680078 For those on the up, with an 8 or a 9 well done, for those going down in the ratings, it will be buried on a desk with more important news. Congratulations go to A&E/DDB for toppling AMV BBDO from the annual Nielsen billing league and gaining pole position. In particular, congratulations go to Tammy Einav, who way back worked with me trying to get McCann to the number one slot. Back then she was a New Business Account Manager, now CEO of A&E/DDB in London, she is calmly running the Biggest agency in the UK.

Time for the Work: three brands we highlight this week for producing outstanding work during the crisis, the first is slightly biased, but I do get a shiny seat occasionally, thanks to Joanne.


  1. First up, British Airways, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=615KyCRUTnU delivered a great ad this week, created by Ogilvy Uk. Whilst the airline has furloughed 36,000 cabin crew, its still made this spot that tugs at the heartstrings of Britain. Featuring the colleagues in the ad, cabin crew, flight deck and CEO Alex Cruz it shows the optimism of the airline and pride to return to fly. Creatively delivered, they’re doing all they can to support the NHS.


  1. We loved the new EE spot, Jeremy Lee called this one out, created by Saatchi and Saatchi, a ‘slice of Bacon’, its shows how EE is gifting unlimited data services to NHS workers. https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/ee-gifts-unlimited-data-nhs-workers-kevin-bacon-fronted-campaign/1679864


  1. And we also highlight the Co-Op local heroes campaign, great work produced under the constraints of the lockdown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIZ7AEi465o this ad was created by Lucky Generals.


And finally, last and definitely least, Council meetings go on in Henley, I don’t always get my way. So if you really have nothing better to watch, here is the link to the first ever Full council under Zoom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs0e4Fpi0wY


This Week’s applause goes to Captain Tom Moore, Captain Tom originally planned to raise £1,000 by completing 100 lengths of his 25 metre garden before his 100th birthday on April 30. But his amazing efforts captured the public imagination and the country has taken him to their hearts, donating in their droves – and the cash is still rolling in, £15 million, quite amazing. Here’s his fundraising link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs


With the UK now set on another three weeks of lockdown, social distancing seems to be working, people are getting use to the new way of working, the economy looks set to take a real hit. We continue to seek projects to keep us busy, of any variety, so if you would like to discuss your agency needs for when the lockdown ends, please do get in touch on 07730 431171, or email me above.

Stay healthy, and stay positive, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Kind regards,



Lockdown Week 2

I hope you are keeping healthy and staying well in lockdown. I thought I would highlight some of our top picks, we have seen this week from various sources, webinars and other such calls that we are making with the various CEO’s of the industry.


Top picks:

1.     Arguably the most useful webinar to date was put together by WPP, this happened in the first week of the lockdown and looked at which sectors would recover first and the experiences in the Far east where most things are getting back to normal. In the Uk we are far from normal here as Lockdown looks set to continue for the next two weeks at least. Most brands have been balancing whether to go ‘dark’ during lockdown, and save marcomms budget, or whether to stay ‘bright’ for the inevitable recovery.

Here’s the Link: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2230918/ABB1C478B599A9602947E8739B7CC84C?mode=login&email=tf@tinafegent.com

Retailers who have had to close under lockdown have understandably gone dark, unless they had a digital platform and  online delivery service, Fortnum & Mason has just furloughed 700 staff.


2.     This Webinar was followed by the Kantor/Ogilvy webinar, on ‘Retailing in the UK,’ clearly the supermarkets have been busy with hoarding and a huge increase in frequency of purchase but how have they been coping, click and collect is on the rise, Ocado and Tesco delivery spots are sparse, new distancing parameters means overall till roll will stabilise. The session looked at which categories are in growth, why there was so much frequency of purchase, based largely on the Superpanel data.

Here’s the Link for this and forthcoming webinars: https://www.kantar.com/Inspiration/Coronavirus/WEBINAR-How-brands-can-survive-the-COVID-19-crisis


3.     The advertising Cog blog Spot: Is it right to advertise in a recession? Our view is proceed with caution and spend on your media wisely and look for savings on media where offers are prevalent.

Here’s the link: http://www.bjanda.com/blog/advertising-in-a-crisis-be-wary-of-lessons-from-past-recessions/


4.     Adaptability is a new buzzword. Our colleagues at Econsultancy are finding evidence of Adaptability in Marketing? As marketers adapt to the ‘new normal’, many are finding both positives and negatives in working from home, with a dip in team morale balanced by a new sense of empathy for colleagues. This according to findings is from the second survey conducted by Econsultancy and Marketing Week on the impact of COVID-19, involving 1,990 global marketers and agency professionals.

We highlight this one and the link: http://view.mail.centaurmedia.com/ qs=e995f5066225a256d554d06d2481362b866451c6c2f90fb04e655981ea9d575a3c2476ce9cd02615ab79a4928efe81d3f84a9ec96bef73a8b9eef0bfce7478f512e5424a29c5f4969a6598ff2986c0d3


  1. The Good Friday Mobile/Fix the View from the US on all things media in conjunction with the Media Kitchen



Most CEOs are focusing on revenue stabilisation, furloughing where relevant, dropping industry awards and looking at non discretionary spend. Agency CEO’s are seeing how their agencies are configured from home. Those most prepped for delivering service levels will be the most stable. It really will be a survival of the fittest. Our holding company Leader of the week goes to the Mark Read of WPP, his calmness and understanding is steering WPP away from the revenue pressures as the teams sensibly hunker down.


Our view is clear, the agencies best prepared are making it work already, or using European offshoring offices in Sweden and Norway to deliver creative work, but a wider lockdown will limit ability to deliver. Most agencies are evolving a light touch, safe distancing, with just two people on filming projects for example, having agency talent in the right city to deliver has been a problem. Homeworking is working for most (and is set to last in the UK) although the addition of children at home proved demanding for some. Most new business pitches have stalled as agencies are focusing on their current client needs.


We strongly believe that those brands that go into this crisis with adspend on brand values with emerge in the better place. Whilst the world around us looks like a disaster movie, there is an opportunity to prepare for the future. Brands need to keep selling and keep the cash moving. There is evidence of brands supporting very human approaches to support society. There are a couple of brands that have used the lockdown to change their advertising model – following the mantra better, simpler, cheaper, we see this as a short term reaction, the focus is still on driving down ‘non working spend’ rather than adding agency competencies.


So with very limited sport, no Henley regatta or festival, no Cannes, Wimbledon, and Royal Ascot all cancelled. What are we going to do? There is a real sense of society caring for the vulnerable with medicines in our community. We are shopping from home – a positive note we heard this week that Majestic Wines processed £2.5 million of wine sales via their new website in a day, so those brands with an e- commerce platform, and a continuing serviceable one are the green shoots for the commercial future. Surprised by the quality of wine purchased it was only marginally up, so even in these times only a few treats for us all.


We really hope to get back to work soon, as projects sit dormant, we are here to be supportive, to do accelerated pitches to shorten the pitch process. We are working from home, but are here to help you if we can, until next time…lets be positive.


Kind regards,



Lockdown Week 1

Coming soon.

Let’s Get Down to Business: Will Hamilton, Hamilton Associates

Will_H_7smallerWILL HAMILTON is the owner of Hamilton Associates, a consultancy which he set up five years ago. Born in Kent, his family moved to Bristol when he was one. He became a boarder at St Edward’s School, Oxford, followed by Kingston University where he earned a degree in business studies. He has lived in Henley for 22 years and has been a town councillor for the last eight, serving as deputy mayor in 2016/17. He is keen following of sport, especially rugby and rowing. He will take part in the London Marathon in April for the first time. His main love is the river and he owns a slipper launch on which he spends many happy hours with his partner Joanne Cope, who works for British Airways as senior cabin crew.

Describe your business

Hamilton Associates is an intermediary, helping clients to get the best from their communication partners. We advise on agency search and selection, negotiate remuneration and focus on optimising marketing relationships to achieve exceptional performance.

How many people does it employ?

I work alone but have many associated partnerships.

What did you do before you started this business?

When I was at university I had an intern scholarship at the University of North Carolina and subsequently took a masters degree in marketing. I became a graduate trainee at Asprey’s in New York and then a marketing executive for British Airways. Those two roles introduced me to the importance of managing brands. When I returned to Britain, I worked with some major marketing and advertising companies, becoming marketing director for McCann Erickson and Publicis.

When did you start your business?

In 2013.

What was your objective?

I wanted to use my experience to become an intermediary and have a better work/life balance.

Who or what influenced you?

It just felt right. I saw other pioneers setting up on their own and thought, “why not do the same?”

Do you have a mentor or role model?

I worked at Agency Assessments International for five years and Peter Cowie made a big impact on me. Every six months I meet with Murray Chick and Ian Armstrong who have become good mentors.

What would you do differently if you started again?

Looking back, I should have had more process. I didn’t really have a proper structure or business plan.

How is your business doing?

It has been quite a tough year and achieving top line growth has been hard.

How do you market your business?

Referrals are a major source of new business. Networking is a vital part of my marketing strategy. I’m a regular at the Henley Business Partnership’s monthly 3FM meetings. I follow marketing directors who I’ve done work for when they change jobs — I reconnect.

What’s the best thing about running your own business?

I enjoy the flexibility and being able to do other things. It enables me to carry out my role as a councillor, which accounts for a good 10 hours of my time each week.

What’s the most challenging aspect?

Making it all fit together in terms of prioritising.

Where is your business headed?

We’re warmed up, so now is the time to ramp it up.

Do you have a five-year plan?

Yes. The advertising industry is changing rapidly and it’s currently a cacophony of chaos. It’s a challenge to help clients understand how to navigate through what’s happening. I’m optimistic that this will present us with some great opportunities.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

The importance of listening to clients, having empathy and showing diplomacy as well as continually learning.

What would you advise someone starting a business?

Carefully think through why you are doing it. It’s extraordinary what you can achieve if you believe! Develop a network of people with experience and meet lots of different people. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” in answer to a question.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Expecting to win everything I’ve pitched for. I’m a sensitive soul but now accept that I won’t win every proposal.

How organised are you?

Reasonably. I can’t stand people who are late.

What’s the secret of your success?

Being good at networking and having the ability to work with different people and helping them succeed.

What three qualities are most important in business?

Ability. Having a positive attitude and being prepared to work hard.

How do you dress for work?

Business casual. Ties only come out for weddings, funerals and Henley Royal Regatta.

What can’t you do without every day?

Being busy.

Lunch at your desk or going out?

Generally on the run. I’m a grazer.

Do you continue to study?

Yes, I read lots of business books.

What else do you read?

Lots of council papers. The Henley Standard as soon as it comes out each week.

How are you planning for retirement?

Everyone in my age group is almost certainly going to work longer, probably until we are 70. Eventually I want to play more golf and spend more time on the river.


SOURCE: https://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/business/134779/let-s-get-down-to-business-will-hamilton-hamilton-associates.html

Sights and Sounds of Adforum 2018

A Dramatic Cacophony of Chaos


‘Agency lineup’ NYC View, Will Hamilton

‘Agency lineup’ NYC View, Will Hamilton

Will Hamilton, of Hamilton Associates, reports from last week’s 17th Adforum Worldwide Summit in New York.

Last week was the busiest week of the year for Agency Search Intermediaries and Pitch Management Consultants. Some thirty of the leading consultants gathered in New York to meet with advertising industry leaders, holding companies, independents, brand-tech, media champions, entrepreneurs, and digital pioneers.

The AdForum Worldwide Summit is a “by invitation only” program for Agency Search & Management Consultants and Global Agencies CEOs.

Representing the UK, were the AAR, Hamilton Associates, ISBA, Observatory International, Oystercatchers, and Tina Fegent Consulting, Other consultants gathered from across the globe, including:- Brand & Business Architects (Amsterdam), DNCC (Copenhagen) Breezeway (Helsinki), Pitchville (Paris), The Producer Int’l (Milan), Roth, Ryan Hayes, External View, (USA) Agency Selection (SA), Cherry Picker (Hamburg) Scopen (Madrid), and Management Consultancy-Navigare. (Sydney)

Waiting to receive the attendees in uptown and downtown New York and Brooklyn offices, (including one venue on the 84th floor of the new Freedom tower) were twenty-three Leadership teams with inspiring creative case studies and ground breaking presentations, which included a meeting update from newly appointed Joint WPP COO Mark Read, and Lindsay Pattison the WPP Chief Transformation Officer.

This years’ participating agencies included: CP+B, DDB Worldwide, Dentsu Aegis Network, Escape Pod, Fly Communications, Grey Worldwide, Havas, IBM Ix, Kiip, MDC, Mullen Lowe Group, Oath, Phenomenon, Project Worldwide, R/GA, Service Plan, SS&K, TBWA Collective, The Media Kitchen, Vice Virtue, Work & Co, WPP, and You & Mr Jones.



Eight recurring themes emerged during the week: -

  1. Top line growth for heritage agencies is increasingly hard to achieve in what was described as ‘a dramatic cacophony of chaos in the advertising market.’ Some agencies are rapidly transforming, some are already well set up to drive growth, it’s fast changing and a complex market.
  2. A feeling for some that the holding company model is broken. Agencies are reviewing the latest round of changes and looking to see what model is best fit for purpose, putting data and technology at the heart of the business. In-housing is a trend that continues.
  3. Agility and flexible working, and/or partnering with clients is fast becoming the norm. New brand platforms at speed are possible, particularly when working with the bigger consultancies, clients seem willing to pay a premium if agencies/consultancies move fast.
  4. Agencies are beginning to present a fiscal edge that focuses the organisation and communications ecosystem towards share price, as well as planning, creativity and effectiveness.
  5. There are two distinct economies – legacy brands which compete with disruptive innovators. Companies that predate the digital revolution and companies that now have asymmetrical competitors eg Amazon competes with Walmart.
  6. Voice led communications will have more prominence. Mobile first campaigns have accelerated this year, but voice is becoming prominent. Be warned by 2020, 50% of all searches on the internet will be voice led.
  7. Google and Facebook’s dominance is unwavering – despite privacy issues – a statistic we were presented showed that Google and Facebook account for 99% of all advertising growth. Amazon in many sectors is transforming the retail experience.
  8. The advertising industry is declining, digital spend is transforming the industry. Perhaps, creativity will be the last legal means of differentiation.


'Mark Read at Adforum'

‘Mark Read at Adforum’


The highlights of the week for me, were a very strong presentation by Global CEO Wendy Clark, at DDB, sharing outstanding creative work from McDonald’s, (International Women’s Day), Marmite, Skittles, and John Lewis.

A very diverse and brilliantly well presented session by TBWA Collective with a dynamic all female line-up.  It’s been three and a half years since Global CEO, Troy Ruhanen, took over and the achievements are significant. He has particularly focused on getting the gender balance right, highlighting that, when he took over, only three of the 35 country CEOs were women. Since then, the number of female CEOs is up by 15%, female CSOs by 28% and female creative directors up by 29%. And to prove the point, fantastic creative work for Amazon Alexa and Hostelworld, presented so eloquently, by London hero Helen Calcraft.

It was significant and impressive that the newly appointed joint COO of WPPMark Read came to New York to talk to the consultants, with an update on the recent changes at WPP along with Chief Transformation Officer Lindsay Pattison. Our view is that WPP are trying to be much more open. It’s ‘BAU at WPP – with a fresh flair’. They are listening hard, and ensuring they absolutely flex to their clients changing needs.

And finally, again a seminal presentation by R/GA, – who have reinvented themselves five times every nine years – it knows how to disrupt itself. There strategic presentation, ability and presence rates them truly worldclass  - a 10/10 from me.


For the Intermediaries and Consultants it’s a week of intense meetings with Leadership teams – but we return, with a desire to see – how can we assist in building topline growth for both our clients and agencies alike.  Finally – an interesting statistic presented – we touch our mobile phones on average of 2617 times a day. Is it time to call your Intermediary/ Pitch Management Consultant for some timely and ground breaking advice?


Read the Adforum Campaign Article here >

Trends from America – The Views from Adforum

Will Hamilton reports on Trends in New York and LA from the Adforum Summit and how they affect CMOs here.


Having been a key member of the Adforum World Summit for the last five years (the Worldwide summit of the leading 25 intermediary consultants from around the world) I thought I would ‘turn the telescope’, and give an independent view ‘for clients’ on what’s trending ‘over there’ – some key learning’s that may help clients managing the performance of their agencies here.

There is an ‘egg breaking’ shift in the way agencies are structuring themselves for the future and this stretches way beyond advertising. The agency resourcing model is changing very fast and it is evolving.

The 15th Adforum Worldwide Summit met with 36 of the top creative agencies, media agencies, tech start-ups, data, digital and direct agencies, global consultancies, content providers, production companies, and even the American National Advertisers Association (ANA). Continue Reading