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Tom Doctoroff

Advertising: The Canyon Between Self-Respect and Commoditization

Well, finally. The Malaysia 4As association has taken a stand against the egregious request of a growing number of clients to “own” agencies’ work even if the pitch is lost. I hope members stay unified, a big ask in today’s dog-eat-dog competitive environment.

It goes without saying that any RFP that contains a clause insisting on forfeiture of a communications company’s most treasured asset – its creative and strategic ideas – is ethically compromised. The mercantilist, morally-relativistic world view of many Asian business is no excuse for institutionalized intellectual property theft. Nor is the “pitch or die” ethos of agencies struggling to make quarterly numbers.

Agencies should just say no. Period. And clients should look at their feet in shame.


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