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Is the AOR Model 'Out of Date'?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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In a brand-rich world, the attacks on the agency landscape continue to escalate.

One would imagine that with more brands, more media channels, and more clutter, brands would relish the notion of working with an agency; a partner in making sure the goods and services these brands provide get room in the crowded economic environment.

In reality, that is not the case.

It was recently reported that yet another big brand, Pepsi's Lays company, is now switching from the AOR model to a project-by-project model. While the switch could increase competition and lower costs, it does take a swing at an element that is key to creating good work.


Yes, in order to really get to know a company, brands and agencies need to be able to have honest, upbuilding communication. That level of trust and dialogue can only be attained when both parties know that they are trying to make the relationship work.

Moving to a project model simply means that although the option is there for another project, the current relationship is over after the project is done.

Not really ideal for agencies trying to build and grow.

Can the brand/agency relationship be better? Of course it can. But we feel that leaving the AOR model is not only counter-productive, but just wrong. When we focus on the bottom line, we lose focus on building working relationships.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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