Arun Sudhaman

Working the angles around media, comms and marketing.

Getting to grips with LG-One

with 4 comments

I thought that this LG-One story for PRWeek would attract a little attention, but I must say the reaction has been rather more dramatic that I anticipated.  David Brain has chosen to get a few things off his chest and there has also been a response from LG-One global strategist Luca Penati clarifying that his new role does not involve him leaving Ogilvy PR.

You can, perhaps, understand the interest. LG-One may be the first of its kind in the PR world: a ‘multi-agency WPP team’ that will service the global LG PR business. So far, so good. But, so soon after the Enfatico experience, it seems that every initiative of this kind is going to get tarred with the same brush.

I don’t doubt that this is the last we have heard of this kind of idea, either. Clients want their agencies to cooperate and they want to be as far away from conflicting business as possible. In LG’s case, for example, a 33-company conflict list literally meant that no single agency could handle the business. Whether LG-One can effectively improve LG’s global comms strategy, as analysed in this story I wrote for Media Asia, will be watched closely.



Written by Arun Sudhaman

May 17, 2009 at 10:28 am

Posted in Media Asia, PRWeek

Tagged with , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. “multi-agency WPP team” vs “a new bespoke agency unit created by WPP”. You use two descriptions. Having seen Luca’s clarification I can understand and sympathise with the three big WPP PR brands trying to make bring existing agency teams together to get around conflict and to pool the best resources. Good for them and good for LG. It’s when this comparatively straightforward task strays into the area of creating a “new bespoke agency unit” with a separate name and all the stuff that goes with that (Enfatico being the ludicrous extreme) that the wheels come off. It has always seemed odd to me that WPP (home to some of the great agencies) is so quick to undermine and devalue the notion of an agency by suggesting that great work can be created and sustained over time by a group of individuals with no loyalty, culture or shared values other than those directed by a single client. Fortunately for the people in the agencies they own and unless anyone can correct me, they seem to have failed every time they have tried.

    david brain

    May 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm

  2. The two descriptions are not, as far as I am aware, mutually exclusive. Or at least they weren’t supposed to be! I do accept your point, but it is worth noting that it does have a separate name – which does imply a measure of branding. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, not least because the LG client in Seoul appears keen on building a new team for the ‘front-end’ of LG-One. Even if LG-One resembles, for example, WPP’s Team HSBC more that Enfatico, is it really that much more straightforward? There will still be agency silos to navigate along with the issues that arise from servicing a single client.

    Arun Sudhaman

    May 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm

  3. Silos are always a challenge even within an agency brand. The presence of the right sharing culture and the absence of daft externally enforced high and rigid margins are about the only two things that counter them in my experience (with the oft cited renumeration or bonus scheme being a distant third).

    The trouble with the Enfatico approach is that the people in it had jobs not careers; no agency philosophy or training; no perspective from other clients; no thought leadership; no sense of being part of something worth a bit more than the cheque at the end of the month.

    At least in the model Luca is suggesting, the teams will exist within the three agency groups and so none of the above applies to them.

    I guess the front-end dedicated team bit fails my definition, but at least it is contained. Perhaps they want tight financial control and relationships with a key strategy and coordination team at the centre which is no bad thing. The name seeems a vanity though. My advice to the client in Korea is recognise the value of the agency units and the quality of the people they have. The best PR people are much more likely to want to work for Ogilvy, H&K or BM than they are the outsourced PR department of a conglomerate. He will get better results over the long term by going through the agencies rather than trying to create one himself (which is a bit like Ogilvy deciding to make their own TVs when you think about it).

    Have we beaten this one to death yet?

    david brain

    May 17, 2009 at 8:07 pm

  4. Much more of this and I think we could set it to music and turn it into an operetta. This conversation has now spanned two different blogs and Twitter – very 3.0! Anyway, some good insights – we will see how it all turns out I guess.

    Arun Sudhaman

    May 18, 2009 at 8:52 am

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