Small London agency Albion is to open an office in LA (Albion West Coast) for Air New Zealand, its biggest account in the UK.
This might seem quite a tenuous basis on which to build an international business but, the evidence is, it works.
The world’s hottest agency Wieden + Kennedy has succeeded in challenging the big marcoms groups because it’s always had a firm foundation; the Nike account.
Way back the likes of Interpublic were built on McCann Erickson’s hold on the Exxon and Coca-Cola accounts, as were WPP agencies JWT and Ogilvy with Ford.
Kept at a slight remove these relationships work. Bring it closer, as WPP tried to do by setting up the short-lived Enfatico to service Dell and Jaguar Land Rover is now trying to do wholly-owned with Spark 44, and you seem to get problems.
Other clients don’t mind much if the agency is dependent on one big account (they know they’ll get a good deal as the creatives will insist they take on other business).
It’s a different matter entirely if they’re invited to join a custom-made client agency, as Enfatico found.
Well good luck to Albion and founder Jason Goodman. It’s a good name (it begins with ‘A’ for a start which gets you to the head of the directories) and it’s good to see an independent with big ambitions.
But LA is a highly competitive market and it’s not going to be that easy to woo other West Coast advertisers.