Agency Perceptions: what do you think of the country's specialist agencies?

  • Agency Perceptions
  • February 8, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Agency Perceptions: what do you think of the country's specialist agencies?

In 2017, as part of our Agency Perceptions research, we asked some of the country's top marketers a few questions about their roles and their views on the country's leading creative and media agencies. How were their needs changing? What did they look for in an agency? What were their frustrations? How did they choose the right partner? Which agencies stood out? The results made for very interesting reading and it was one of our most-talked-about projects of the year. So, for our upcoming agency issue, we're doing it again, although this time we're diving into the perceptions of specialists and asking marketers some questions about design, PR/experiential, digital, and direct marketing agencies.

But wait! There's more! In the end, it's the perception of the ones that pay the bills that really matters. But this year we're also asking the StopPress audience for their opinion on these agencies in an effort to get a wider industry view. 

By opening the survey up to the whole industry, we know there's a chance the tension between competing agencies may skew results slightly, but we hope the vast majority of the responses will be honest and we believe it will make for an interesting comparison to the data collected from our database of clients. 

  • Click here to complete the survey (please note that this survey is completely anonymous and your name will not be associated with any of the responses). 

It is possible to dismiss the concept of someone’s perception as little more than a half-formed opinion, based on little to no factual information. But, as one of our favourite advertising philosophers, Jeremy Bullmore, once wrote, “people build brands as birds build nests, from scraps and straws we chance upon”. He updated that later and said that those scraps and straws are actually “laid in our path by the brand’s owner – the packs, the promotions, the price, the advertising – in the cunning hope and expectation that the brand we thereby build will be the one we’ll come to love and favour”.

Agencies also lay their scraps and straws in the path of their potential customers in an effort to create a perception of momentum, often by promoting the work they’ve done, the clients they’ve won, the people they’ve hired or the beliefs they abide by. And, just as we did with our research last year, we have chosen these specialist agencies based on our own perceptions; they are the agencies we believe are doing interesting work, winning awards, being talked about by clients or competitors, or, in some cases, getting in touch with us and telling us what they're up to. 

There’s always a disconnect between how we see ourselves and how others see us. And, as Don Draper famously said, if you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email

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Diversity and inclusion in action: Why Spark gets behind the Pride community

  • Media
  • February 21, 2019
  • Sarah Williams
Diversity and inclusion in action: Why Spark gets behind the Pride community

One of Aotearoa's biggest companies, Spark, is a firm supporter of the LGBTQI+ community through its annual Pride advertising campaigns, its partnership with charity OUTline, and its diversity and inclusion values within the company. Head of brand at Spark New Zealand Sarah Williams explains why the company chose to champion this social issue, how these campaigns attract both the loudest praise and the greatest vilification from New Zealanders, and why that it makes it the most important cause the company champions.

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