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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2010
and try to do it." O'Sullivan and Saatchi & Saatchi's former CEO, Andrew 'Rocky' Stone, resigned in December. "As long as there is fish in the ocean I'll be in New Zealand. Andrew and I both love New Zealand, we've both had lots of opportunities to do stuff overseas and we've both stayed here. If you love the country, it's hard to leave," says O'Sullivan. Already he's finding that there's an emotional toll from working in the big networks you don't really get at the Indy level. "If you are running around look- ing after two or three clients and you are working as hard as you can, and that client's happy and you know they are happy, then the hard work doesn't really matter," says O'Sullivan. His motivation for leaving was two-fold. He needed a new chal- lenge and noticing the rise of the independent agency occurring both overseas and in New Zealand, decided to join the fray. "The idea of doing an indepen- dent venture was a lot more excit- ing and dangerous and fun, so I spoke to Andrew who had already been through it having started Generator with a couple of part- ners, which they built from nothing to a good sized agency, so he's a fantastic partner to team up with because he knows all about that part of the business," says O'Sullivan. He says the most glaringly obvious disadvantage with the multination- als is that the networks are set up in a certain way because they have financial objectives, and the client has financial objectives, and you are continually trying to keep every- body happy. "A lot of clients don't want to pay fees any more because the fees are paying for the cost centres and not for the guys to do the work. Increasingly, in an agency a client paying a top fee is not dealing with the top people at the big network agencies -- there is a disconnect," says O'Sullivan. "When you are a smaller, more flexible entity the top two or three people are dealing with the top people in the client organi- zation and you get stuff happening fast and you've got better relation- ships. That's one of the reasons why clients are gravitating towards smaller entities because it is tighter and easier and better. Not all clients, some clients definitely need big organizations, they need to have like-minded companies from a prof- it point of view, but others like dealing with the top people." O'Sullivan thinks that in time it Opening a new agency in New York, without a CEO or a suit, must have taken a level of fearlessness, but for Premutico (above) it was a business decision. "We felt that more and more creativity was becoming the most important marketing tool, so it was important for us to have a creative company, not just a company with creative people," he says. O'Sullivan's motivation for leaving was two-fold. He needed a new challenge and noticing the rise of the independent agency occurring both overseas and in NZ, decided to join the fray. "The idea of doing an independent venture was a lot more exciting and dangerous and fun, so I spoke to Andrew who had already been through it having started Generator with a couple of partners, which they built from nothing to a good sized agency, so he's a fantastic partner to team up with because he knows all about that part of the business." will become more challenging for the multinationals to keep hold of talent, especially since a lot of cre- atives are leaving to start their own shops. He sees a huge amount of change taking place in the industry. He says: "As a result some young talented people are not going to the usual colleges, they are going to dif- ferent colleges, they are going to different creative shops, they are going to production companies so what's happening is network agen- cies were the holy grail and the best thing happening for creative people and now there are lots of other options. I think it's really hard. When you have people in network agencies who are held in really high regard they are targeted by other creative organizations to go and work for them -- 10 years ago the concept of Google poaching one of your best creatives wouldn't even be on your mind, whereas now it is a possibility." The thing he misses most about working for a multinational is the support -- being surrounded by lots of people, particularly lots of young creative people and the social side. Then there's the travel, he's now booking flights on the Internet and there's no annual jaunts to meet up with the worldwide creative board. "However, once you philosophi- cally move into a certain space a 19 CAMPAIGNBRIEF
January February 2010