The Power Of Influence In The Age Of Reference

Kate Watts

The communications business is in the throes of tremendous change. And with change comes uncertainty. Advertising in particular is going through a period of prolonged introspection and selfflagellation. Chris Ingram (1) suggests that adland is experiencing a crisis of confidence. Living in a 1980s time warp, advertising has got left behind, and there is a gap between what clients want and what advertising delivers. Advertising and marketing have become separated from an end result and lack business focus, existing in splendid isolation, an 'exclusive club, happy to spend time talking their own language to their own group and giving each other awards'.

Integration, offered as a possible solution by the conglomerates, is not the answer. 'Real integration has proved an elusive beast; certainly a largescale bundlingup of services does not necessarily add any value: quite often it delivers the opposite.' Aggregation does not equal integration.