Matthew Freud puts AMV, Sir Martin Sorrell in their places

I’ve just caught up with this interview by Danny Rogers with Matthew Freud in PR Week but it’s riveting stuff.

Freud, who runs the UK’s eighth-largest (and probably most profitable) PR agency, claims that PR agencies are “more rigorous” than their marcomms rivals and should take the lead on matters creative, especially the generation of ideas.

Freud Communications is 50.1 per cent owned by Publicis Groupe (the 0.1 is not material says Freud, it’s his company and he runs it). His first PR venture was bought by Omnicom’s AMV BBDO ad agency which, he says, taught him this time round “not to make the mistakes of the past.”

On the ideas front he opines thus: “For many of our clients we are now the lead strategic or creative agency. We were certainly the lead agency for Nescafe – three TV campaigns in a row were our ideas. For Walkers (snacks) its most successful consumer-facing campaign – Do Us A Flavour – was conceived by us in conjunction with film director Paul Weiland. The ad agency AMV BBDO played no real part in the in the strategy or idea creation.”

Do you get the impression he doesn’t like them?

As for Sir Martin, noted for his diminutive stature, he says of Publicis boss Maurice Levy: “If you compare him with his peer group he is head and shoulders – quite literally in some cases – above them.”


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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.