Speed, trust and inspiration: How the client-agency relationship is evolving

The pandemic is changing the ways in which clients and agencies work together.

Earlier this year, the Coca-Cola Company did something quite surprising: the soda giant announced it would hit the pause button on commercial advertising in the Philippines, and re-channel US$3m (₱150m) towards supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.

“We decided to go almost all blank, like a blackout,” said Pratik Thakar, Coca-Cola’s head of integrated marketing communications for ASEAN at the Can Do Festival, an event hosted by The Drum.

According to Thakar, Coca-Cola’s agencies initially applauded the move. “Their first reaction was, ‘This is awesome, this is bold’,” he recalled. “But on the second or third day, they said, ‘Hey, what about...

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