You have to admire their guts, if not their logic

Ad agency Goodby Silverstein made a ballsy judgment call recently when it walked away from its $80 mm relationship with Discover Financial Services to pursue the much larger Visa USA, a direct competitor.

Sadly, Visa announced today it would select an Omnicom agency to be its new AOR, leaving Goodby with zero clients in the credit card sector.

I think most professionals would admire Goodby for its bold decision. They went for the brass ring and lost. You can’t say they don’t have guts. On the other hand, smallish clients might think twice about hiring the firm in the future, thinking they’ll be discarded like yesterday’s newspaper when a larger, more attractive competitive client attracts Goodby’s attention.

It’s all part of the client-agency mating ritual which, as Lewis Carroll might say, just gets curiouser and curiouser.

One thought on “You have to admire their guts, if not their logic

  1. It’s only curious if you’re not privy to what’s going on under the sheets. It’s been my experience that those decisions have a lot more to do with the existing client relationship than they do with a bold decision to go for the brass ring.
    In a well-managed relationship – mutually beneficial for both client and agency – there is far less gusto on the part of the agency to let that go for the sake of higher billings.
    Of course, in today’s “eat or be eaten,” “what are your numbers going to be tomorrow,” world where agency motivation has as much to do with appeasing the numbers guys sitting in London or France than it does with that long-term client relationship, who really knows?