An open letter to the staff of DDB Sydney and Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney

tim burrowes landscapeIn this open letter, Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes reaches out to the many excellent staff working at the award-winning agencies DDB and Saatchi & Saatchi.

So last week, you may have noticed we gave some coverage to your Press Lions-winning work on behalf of McDonald’s and Panasonic. Congratulations again.

Some of you even got a namecheck in the credits.

I’m talking to you, the guys named on the Saatchis entry.

One of the Saatchi & Saatchi award-winning ads

One of the Saatchi & Saatchi award-winning ads

And to you, from DDB.

One of the DDB award-winning McDonald's ads

One of the DDB award-winning McDonald’s ads

You may have seen that some in the industry – ourselves included – expressed some doubts about whether the ads ran as mainstream paid advertising.

And it didn’t help when the brands – and your agencies – wouldn’t tell us where those ads ran.

It made us a bit suspicious. You see, sometimes agencies don’t play by the rules – or not the spirit of them anyway.

An ugly description for it is scam advertising – when campaigns are created to win awards, not to solve a client’s marketing problem.

In order to be able to claim that the ads ran, they book small ad slots in obscure titles.

As you may have seen, we asked the brand custodians of McDonald’s, Panasonic and the Cannes Lions. They didn’t reply.

We asked Ebiquity and Nielsen – who both track print advertising – and neither of them could find the ads. Which suggests they might have run somewhere relatively low profile.

And one or two of our readers suggested that it was unfair to focus our attention on the brands rather than the agencies.

Which is a fair observation. Hence the fact that I’m reaching out to you – or indeed your colleagues.

Sometimes it’s possible for an agency to do something which an individual member of staff might be uncomfortable with. And you might wish that the outside world knew about it.

So let me invite you to drop me a line if you can answer this question: Is there anything you’d like me to know about these campaigns? My email address is tim@focalattractions.com.au

I’d also offer up some advice I sometimes give to whistleblowers. Don’t email from your work email address or on a work device. But do offer me a means of contact if there’s any info I’d need to verify.

If you do happen to have access to any cuttings (a photocopy is fine) that I should see, why not pop them in an envelope to Tim Burrowes, Mumbrella House, 46 Balfour Street, Chippendale NSW 2008.

I’d love to hear from you.

Tim Burrowes – Mumbrella


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