How to assess client-agency relationships effectively

Jeremy Caplin

Go to: Executive summary

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Go to: Where to start

Go to: What to avoid

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Executive summary

Over 50 years ago, David Ogilvy famously said that "clients get the advertising they deserve". This has now been validated by our analysis of over 8,000 client-agency relationships which has shown that agency performance is highly dependent on client performance. In effect, this is saying that the good performance of the client is absolutely essential to maximise agency output.

Further analysis reveals that the best agency performance occurs when that of the client is optimal in four areas, namely Approval, Briefing, Timing and Behaviour. When the client's performance is strong in these areas, agency output is judged by clients to be +37% better than it is in agencies with poorly performing clients.