A brand’s agency partners should be willing to take risks, be more conscious of waste and have skin in the game, according to Islam ElDessouky, Head of Integrated Marketing Communications at Coca-Cola Middle East.

He was responding to a question about Coke’s relationship with its agencies, posed at an Edelman Brand Breakfast during the Dubai Lynx festival (Dubai, March 2018).

ElDessouky promoted the sense of partnership that should exist between an advertiser and its agency. “It can’t be a master and slave relationship,” he said. “It should be one where you see both success and failure, where the partnerships become stronger on our roster.

“We have worked with agencies for more than 20 years and it’s all about listening and trust. Clients always believe that they know the business better but, if that’s the case, we shouldn’t hire agencies.

“Partnerships mean that we win together and lose together: businesses aren’t flourishing right now and markets are down, so agencies need to understand how to become more creative and make every dollar sweat more.”

Hello controversy