Ad Agency Culture


Originally Posted On July 2007 at "Media Singapore" (

Ad Agency Culture

 It is very interesting to note that the local advertising industry has a very diverse mix of working cultures.

There are a few ad agencies that I remembered clearly their working style and people.

Here goes.

Agency A – "CLA"
This agency is one of the longest-surviving local ad agency in Singapore. Grown from a small team of 7 to today’s over 50 staff.
They handle mostly clients from the "Beauty" industry.
This agency suck up to big media owners like MediaCorp and SPH and often ignoring or not supporting the other media owners. 
This resulted in many things. When their clients ask this agency to book ads outside the 2 giants, they often can’t get any good discounts

from media owners and some media owners even ignore this agency whenever they ask for rate cards or media information.
They can forget about value-added incentives even if they book ads with the offended media owners.
Moral is : No matter how big or how small the media owners are, be fair as you never know when you will need them. Offend people and
people will do the same to you.

Agency B – "MEC"
This agency is one of the most talked-about ad agency in Singapore. They are about 30 strong and international.
They handle mostly "blue chips" clients. This agency is the result of various merger.
They called themselves the "Boutique" Media Agency, but the way they handle the media owners are very much primitive.
The media planners are snobbish and they even made negative comments about other media owners they don’t advertise in.
Such is the bad reputation that they enjoyed and most media owners shunned away from this agency.
This agency has another nickname call the "Bitchy" Ad agency.
Moral is : Behaving primitively to Media Owners is the last thing to do if the agency claimed to be an "Boutique agency".
The media owners are just waiting for a chance, mind you.

Agency C – "ZO"
This agency is popular agency. They are about 45 strong, internationally recognized and has many good clients.
They are friendly to approach, fun to work with and extremely understanding. I can’t seem to name a better agency than them.
What leaves me the deepest impression is, the planners remembers the media owners who serviced them. Business or not, the people

here are warmth and easygoing. This made them the most popular ad agency among the media owners. I love this agency!
Moral is : Treat everyone with equal respect, be it a big or small media owner, favours will be thrown in 2 ways. This agency
will go places in years to come.

Agency D – "MS"
This agency used to be very popular among media owners. At one time, they are the biggest agency in Singapore. They employed over 60 staff, has offices all over the world and handles many international brands. But as the people turnover, things changed. Words get spread around that they started to squeeze media owner ridiculously, made ruded comments, throw blames to Media owners when things goes wrong and even talk to media owners as if the media owners owe them favours. Unbelievable but true. This is one of the few ad agency that I worked with when I enter the media industry years ago. I remembered that this agency used to be more easy and pleasant to work with, but now things has certainly changed. The feel is different and media owners goes there fo the sake of going. Even treats are seldom these days. Thanks to a few blacksheeps that changes everything.
Moral is : Never squeeze the wrong people, never blame the wrong people, see how your rating fell through the years. Never forget that we media owners speaks to your clients all the time and we can influence your clients to change or retain the ad agency. Never doubt the power of mouth.

Guess I have enough for today. There are many more ad agencies that I would like to "feature" but just thinking of the above 4 agencies, the memories came rushing back to me, good and bad. I will be back again with more.

And if you think that I am writing about your ad agency, ask yourself if you have mistreated media owners before.
With a conscience of course.



* Met 2 Road Idiots Today.
* Total 16 Road Idiots Encountered.
* Drank 169 cans of Whatever and 22 cans of Anything

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