The Book

Advertising agencies are caught between fee-cutting clients and profit-hungry owners.

Madison Avenue Manslaughter second edition
About the book

Madison Avenue Manslaughter
– Second Edition

Today’s Mad Men celebrate new clients and creative awards, just like the Mad Men of yesteryear.

The resemblance and the fun stop there.

After the celebrations, returning to their daily routines, today’s agency people put on a brave face, and recommence the struggle with declining fees, ever-growing workloads and demanding clients who treat them like vendors.

How do agencies generate profit margins under these circumstances?

Through downsizing, salary freezes and ‘juniorizing.’

Agencies are disinvesting in capabilities to earn profits for their holding company owners — at a time when their clients’ marketing challenges have never been greater.

No wonder their clients are beefing up their internal capabilities and changing agencies at an accelerated pace!

The advertising business, which was once one of the most high-status, fulfilling and glamorous of industries has become a grim sweatshop for the people who do the work.

Michael Farmer, who has an MBA from Harvard Business School and was formerly a Director of Bain & Company, the strategy consulting firm, provides a gripping analysis of advertising agencies and their deteriorating situation.

He describes the key trends that have weakened agencies during recent years — the shift from commissions to fees, brand globalization, the rise of holding companies, client obsession with shareholder value, the digital and Internet revolutions — and outlines the steps that senior agency executives need to take to restore health to their organizations.

This book is a first of its kind — a detailed examination of ad agencies as businesses: their cultures, organizations, management philosophies and strategic choices — providing an unforgettable inside look at the Mad Men’s world.

Available in hardback from booksellers and
In e-book format for all devices via Google Play Books or Apple’s iBooks


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