Monthly Review – July

This is our Monthly Round-up of the key pieces in Marketing for July – we’ve chosen six key articles, and one webinar, if you missed them and have some time, they are well worth a catchup. We’ve dedicated a section to our findings from the Adforum Worldwide Summit which took place in the first week of July – holding companies updated us on their performance and summarised ‘what’s new and interesting’ in the industry. As ever we’ve included a few local extras. July has been a difficult month for many, redundancies in the airline, retail and hospitality sector prevail, but some positivity is coming back. If a second Covid-19 wave returns it will be suppressed in a more targeted way.

  1. First up: and our top pick is an interview with Dave Trott; “The World According to Dave” for WPCC’s issue on ‘Advertising for the Human Good’ edited by Carl W. Jones. Dave was asked to consider the potential of advertising for the human good, and gave wide-ranging answers when questioned: Should advertising have such a role?; is university education a hinderance to creativity; and whether much of advertising can be considered ‘pollution’. It’s a great read, insightful and Dave at his best.

Here is the link:

  1. Secondly: A really interesting read on the “Low Touch Economy.” The current crisis has created a global economic storm that none of us have experienced before. In this new era, large and small companies alike have redesigned their business models to ensure new and safer interactions between customers and companies. This has massive implications for brands, as they must accelerate their online customer experience and e-commerce capabilities exponentially. Consumers are relying on online and contactless experiences more than ever, which is creating a surge in digital signals. This article looks at which businesses are configured for winning.

Here is the link:

  1. Thirdly: What board members say about the CMO – off the record. Think with Google gave Fortune 1000 board members a chance to discuss the marketing role anonymously. The Board members gave over 100,000 words. Google distilled them down using a topic modelling algorithm to read through every interview transcript, unearth trends, and sort them into groups. They then used human evaluation to find the most interesting quotes from board members about these trends. And finally distilled it into one paragraph.

Here is the link:

  1. Fourthly: How are you finding remote working? Maybe your company is doing it wrong. This is a good article on how you should structure your days ahead, meetings are now generally shorter than they use to be and most are taking place on Zoom or Teams. We find structure is important and time for exercise a premium.

Here is the link:

  1. Fifthly: we have been a great fan of the MDC Partners tracking of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US. The Harris poll has delivered 21 weeks of data and it’s interesting how Americans are reacting to homeworking. This week MDC Partners did a Special Edition of their bulletin and additionally looked at trust in US companies and corporate reputation and this is an insightful report. Here is the link to Wave 21 of the study and the following report on Trust and Corporate reputation.

  1. Sixthly: Optimists are better at finding new jobs. With so many organisations flexing, pivoting, and restructuring, good people are falling out of companies for little reason. For those looking for new opportunities – now is the time for positivity.

Here is the link:

Time for the Work: With few offices reopening, no office norms, the water cooler has been drained – Creativity has to be done in a much more nomadic space. We’ve picked this ad made under lockdown which truly knocks creativity out of the park. It’s for Nike fabulously created by W&K and aired in the US.

Here is the link:

Media: Is Facebook out of control?  If the boycott of Facebook by some of the world’s biggest brands – Unilever, Coca-Cola, Starbucks – succeeds, it will be because it has targeted the only thing that Facebook understands: its bottom line. And if it fails, that will be another sort of landmark. The Facebook juggernaut keeps rolling on.

Here is the link:

Adforum Worldwide Summit: The Adforum Worldwide Summit had a record 105 consultants from 5 continents virtually connected at the beginning of July. It was great to hear from the leaders of each holding company on how they are progressing through Covid-19 (apart from Publicis Groupe) and catch up with colleagues.


Here is our summary from this year’s summit:

  • WPP, there will be no more mergers, nor office as usual, but there is a very open culture, open creativity, open data and they remain open for questions, staff will be working a mixture of at home and externally. Most clients have gone from reaction to recovery stage with digital velocity.
  • Dentsu, gave us a business update on the networks share performance, they have fared better than most, followed by an in depth study on how it has approached data, culture and diversity. They are impressive, believe the era of big agency networks with multiple clients and brands is over.  The power of the platform – the ability to effect change – Merkle is probably their magic sauce.
  • Havas, Global CEO Chris Hirst told us that humanity, ecology, and technology will be the deciding factors for customers in selecting brands, Havas are now centred around ‘Meaningful brands’ their ongoing research shows 77% of brands could disappear and no one would care.
  • We had updates from VCCP and IrIs, VCCP has the strongest new business performance year on year. Iris shared an interesting post Covid client business accelerator.
  • Omnicom, shared with us ‘Sparks And Honey’ a culture-centric organisation with the ability to transcribe the cultural zeitgeist into hard numbers and trackable metrics – they showed us Q live a system that collects data, algorithms, AI and predictive analytics to see what may happen in the future.
  • MDC Partners showed why they are now a ‘modern agency holding network’ and also shared with us some of the Covid 19 tracking studies from the Harris poll.
  • Accenture Interactive are already now the same size in revenues as IPG, we had an introduction on Droga 5 and how they will configure to win business in the future.
  • IPG, an excellent presentation on the new structures and layered approach within IPG, how Roth, Krakowsky and Bond are driving growth and change from the US. IPG are well structured for the future if they configure themselves for the right opportunities – the jewel in the crown remains R/GA who are just phenomenal.

Back to Henley: The river is busy again with day boats and launches. And riverside business is doing its best to reopen. One of the best idyllic Thameside settings for lunch is the French Horn in nearby Sonning. For the first time in 40 years you can now dine under new Covid distancing rules outside. Naturally, the best way to arrive is by slipper launch and with perfect weather – it’s a great place for a Consultants lunch. People talk about ‘pivoting’ your business, well this is our new service – on offer to all our clients and new clients between now and October. and it’s a pretty good summer menu.


And finally, It can be slightly apprehensive to change your agencies in a pandemic, but sometimes the needs of your organisation require a new approach, a refresh, or a 5 year transformation. New challenges require new needs. When the time is right – we are here to help you.

We are running a webinar for clients in the first week of September, on “How to pitch your business under lockdown” – the do’s and dont’s. So if you would like further details on this, please do get back in touch and drop me a line.

Kind regards,


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