May 19, 2007

Wither Verizon

So the big news this week is that Verizon had pulled all their advertising for the main brand (Verizon land lines and DSL and their new FIOS fiber optic cable TV) and their cell phone brand (Verizon Wireless) and grouped it all together at McCann.

Big losers are DraftFCB and McGarry Bowen, who had a big chunk of the account for direct and brand work, respectively.

But you have to wonder why an advertiser like Verizon bothers with a place like McCann in the first place. I mean it wouldn't be out of the question if clients like that started turning to "discounters" to create their campaigns.

Look at Verizon. They pump out hundreds of price-focused retails ads every year. What they really need is a media buying service with a few in-house copywriters and graphic designers. Because they're clearly not interested in a creative way to say "200 minutes for just $49.99/month" Ditto the pieces of paper (I know they have some name in the direct world) that they stuff in your bill telling you about their latest promotional offer.

So why not hire someone who won't charge them very much money? There are lots of companies who'd follow this model. Right now, from my Toad Stool, the only reason 75% of all advertisers (and I'm being seriously genereous here) have an ad agency is so that the CEO and CMO can tell their friends on the golf course that "Y&R is handling our ads."

But once is sounds just as clever to say "Yahoo is handling all our ads" the BDAs are really, really fucked. Verizon will still need someone to create some brand spots for them. But again, they can hire a freelance creative team to do that-- they certainly don't need a full on thousand person agency to create spots telling the world that their service is the most reliable.

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