As the industry evolves, so must the Agency Report Card, and hence, we chose to appoint a jury from this year onwards.
Our jury comprised of Ajay Kakar of Aditya Birla Group; Meenakshi Menon (Madhvani) of Spatial Access; Ravi Kiran, former CEO of Starcom MediaVest India; Sanjay Tripathy of HDFC Life; Suman Srivastava of Marketing Unplugged and former CEO of Euro RSCG India; and Viren Razdan of Interbrand.
The Campaign India team collated data and information about the agencies; along with individual characteristics and personnel movement which was editorially reviewed. After many weeks of gathering data, tracking TVCs, looking at web sites and debating the merits of agency strategy, we created a dossier of 59 agencies, which was shared with our jurors. On 2 December, the jurors spent a day in the Campaign India office and examined the agencies; which included 15 media agencies and 44 creative agencies.
A method in the judgement madness
This is the fourth time we have conducted this annual exercise to assess the business performance of the country’s top ad agencies. For me, and indeed for all the members of the jury, the process was a great learning experience. As opposed to perception studies and rankings that we are used to in India, the Agency Report Card is a measure of an agency’s performance vis-à-vis the potential and resources at the end of the previous year. An agency is not measured in the context of other agencies. The measure is of an agency versus itself. Some agencies lose to themselves, some win, some remain the same.
Since the biggest agency is much larger than the smallest, it wouldn’t be fair to use only the revenue rate (where the small companies would have an edge) or only absolute dollar growth (which favours the big players), so we make an adjustment for growth relative to size.
However, the agencies which wielded size and influence in 2011 were deemed the most influential to the industry, primarily because the quality and nature of their work sets a standard for others to follow.
The rules for the jury process?
• A score of 1 to 10 was allotted for each agency analysed by each jury member based on the respective agency’s performance during 2011
• Score was given with respect to the agency’s business wins and losses, people movement and “general health” of the agency.
• Scores by a jury member who employed an agency in their official capacity was not considered for that agency.
• ‘Campaign India score’ for the agency was calculated by a consensus based on the scores given by each of the jury member as well as the Campaign India team.
Some truisms about 2011
Assessing the performance of angency’s work is a subjective exercise. The following truisms came up during the jury day:
• The best is yet to come
• Agency in a flux
• No stand-out work
• Poor case of maintenance
• Stable and status quoist
• Awards focussed
• Turn-around specialists
• Tough competitors on a table during a pitch
There were other gems, as well.
We hope the Agency Report Card provides a useful basis for gauging the progress of the industry in 2011.
Let me know if you agree – and even if you don’t.
Click here to check the Agency Report Card 2011