Mumbrella to launch award for risk taking, as ChangeOneThing consensus calls to overcome culture of conservatism

ChangeOneThing m360 logo

Mumbrella is to create an award category to celebrate risk taking in the industry after yesterday’s Mumbrella360 ChangeOneThing session identified a culture of conservatism as the single issue to tackle in the coming year.

The session – curated by media agency PHD – saw the industry vote beforehand on which three topics they wanted to be debated. These were then narrowed down to one topic to attempt to build consensus around.

Clemenger BBDO’s executive planning director Al Crawford urged a concerted effort to end the culture of conservatism:

The consensus :

Make a 10% opportunity budget part of the industry vernacular. By incorporating it into our industry awards, educating clients on the benefits of risk and lobbying to celebrate risk, more we WILL change the current culture of conservatism.

As Mumbrella’s contribution, we will be consulting with the industry over the criteria for a category of the forthcoming Mumbrella and Encore Awards which celebrates risk.

The other two final proposals:

Andy Milne from DMG Radio called for the industry to build better time management into projects:

Darren Woolley from Trintiy P3 argued for the industry to put more emphasis on value rather than cost.


  1. Ralph
    8 Jun 12
    3:30 pm

  2. Yes I was in the group that cracked this little nut at M360 yesterday and good to see Mumbrella grasp the Cajones Award with both hands. I notice one element of our solution was not reflected in the ‘10% opportunity budget’ as outlined above. If an advertiser agrees to put 10% of their budget in to exploring uncharted territory, the risk is all theirs. For this idea to work, the risk needs to be shared between agency and advertiser. How about an offer to defer fees on one project over the life of the contract? Too ballsy?

  3. Logic
    8 Jun 12
    4:00 pm

  4. how much of the 10% experimentation thing is aimed at a result for the client? Has always seemed to me to be an excuse for bored media planners to try things they’re curious about.

    For that to work the risk on the ‘learn/10%’ component has to be shared. Why should a client pay a bunch of head hours to indulge the agencies curiosity?

  5. paul
    8 Jun 12
    4:29 pm

  6. I agree with ralph and logic…if an idea seems too high risk put forward by the agency, why not forgo fees as a way of stating that they sincerely believe it will work. The larger cost risk is still with the client but it does show the agency genuinely believes the risk taken will be worth it!

  7. Damian
    9 Jun 12
    8:35 am

  8. Are there not enough awards going around at the moment?
    International and local. The purpose of awards whether they are media awards, D&AD, Cannes etc are to promote risk taking.
    Please not another. Focus on winning some of the great international and local ones they are open to all.

  9. Jason C
    10 Jun 12
    8:01 pm

  10. I’m not sure. If a client is opting for conservative work, and they are happy with the results, then job done. If however, the client is struggling with their brand/business and their conservative approach isn’t working, then they need to think differently and DO something different (which will probably take a lot more than 10% of their budget); and doing something different doesn’t necessarily mean high risk.

  11. open your wallet
    11 Jun 12
    8:20 am

  12. If you believe in it, put your money where your mouth is. Forget all this ‘defer fees’ crap – that’s a cop-out, WRITE A CHEQUE – USE YOUR OWN MONEY. You take the risk for a change. It’s not hard – just go to your MD and use the same justification you give your clients.

  13. Peter Rush
    11 Jun 12
    1:24 pm

  14. Are we talking about only celebrating risk that payed off? What about risk that didn’t? Why not go a step further and celebrate failure, the elephant in the room here. We need to make friends with it like the Mexicans have with death.

  15. Daniel Young - Encoder PR
    14 Jun 12
    1:05 pm

  16. Brand marketers should be encouraged to take more risks but they should also consider managing risk.

    Very few ad agencies, for example, seem to consider the potential community reaction before campaigns go live and most seem un-prepared to deal with situations that go wrong. Agencies need to get better at doing their own PR and managing their own reputations and be extension the reputations of their clients.

    One simple step would be to pay more heed to the trade media pre-launch in the way that CBA did by pre-briefing media under embargo before the campaign hit the streets.

    Risk management, crisis preparedness and issues management should be a consideration during the planning stages, not an after thought.