If you really want to take the pulse of the current state of the advertising agency business, you should look no further than Friday’s news that crowdsourcing agency, Victors & Spoils, has bombed out badly on its task to rename California ad agency, DW+H. Yes folks, an advertising agency, which on its Web site, claims to be an agent of positive change, does not seem capable of changing their own name – And exactly what is wrong with DW+H, anyway?
So, they paid “flavour of the month,” crowdsourcing agency, Victors & Spoils, to do it for them. Readers should know that the crowdsourcing business model is based on getting lots of people to bust their chops for nothing in the hope that their submission might be the one in a thousand winner, for which they might receive hundreds.
It’s kinda like buying a lottery ticket, but the odds are worse. This particular project began in August, 2012. It ended last week. This is the email Victors & Spoils sent out to the thousands of unfortunates who succumbed to this farrago…
Hey Everyone ~ We know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting a decision on DW+H’s new name for a long, long time now. This project began in August and presented in October. Yet, here we are in January. So please accept our apology and know that this is not typical of how we operate.
We pride ourselves on being communicative and timely and respectful of your time. But this baby hit some unexpected snags.
Unfortunately and regrettably, DW+H did not select a winner. After much consideration and debate within their walls over the last few months, they couldn’t reach consensus on any of the 1,500 names we showed them. So the name of the agency, at least for now, will remain DW+H.
We know this is discouraging news. Trust us. We’re bummed too. This was a great creative opportunity that would have been a nice addition to your portfolio. But the truth is, this kind of thing happens in our industry sometimes. No matter how many options we present to a given client – it doesn’t guarantee they’ll like something.
Regardless of the outcome though, a deal’s a deal and we here at V&S are still going to pay you.
Specifically we are rewarding the people who had names that made it to the final round of consideration and/or were some of our personal faves.
So congratulations are in order to the following people for earning a chunk of the prize money:
Frank Coelho (Matter) Jake Sullivan & Michael Ball (Well & Good) Elisha Greenwell (Propeller) Tu Vu (Samaritan)
It should also be noted here that there are often duplicate submissions to projects like these, so we reward in the order of receipt. That means that even if one of the above agency names is similar to your idea, these folks simply beat you to the punch.
So, there you have it. This is clearly not an ideal outcome, but it is an outcome nonetheless. And one we don’t expect to repeat in the future. Your patience on this has been truly remarkable and we can’t thank you enough. As always, feel free to email us with any questions or comments or concerns.
Thank you. Kate & Noah
And for the final bit of icing on the cake, we should not forget that French holding company, Havas, bought a majority interest in Victors & Spoils for a rumoured $3 million in April of 2012. At the time, Havas CEO, David Jones said “When an industry goes through a revolution, you can either sit and watch it happen or embrace the exciting new business models at the forefront of that revolution.”
Oh dear… In retrospect, perhaps a cold shoulder would have been more fitting than an embrace.
George Parker has spent 40 years on Madison Avenue. He’s won Lions, CLIOs, EFFIES, and the David Ogilvy Award. His blog is adscam.typepad.com, which is required reading for those looking for a gnarly view of the world’s second oldest profession.” His latest book, “Confessions of a Mad Man,” makes the TV show “Mad Men” look like “Sesame Street.”
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