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February 04, 2013


I think the problem is that decisions usually end up getting made from a particular extreme. People don't tend to choose a middle-ground when it comes from decision making.

So usually a buyer either wants to "pay for the best" or they want to "get great value".

For the "pay for the best" people, cost is not usually a concern, and they want the best not just from their agency, but also for themselves - so won't want to travel etc.

For the "great value" people, they're not going to pay high relative salaries to get great work (even to people in the North). They seek to minimise costs. So this means that a relatively lower number of talented people will put up working for this kind of company, and most talented ones either doing something more soul-enriching (which is not marketing services - maybe something more entrepreneurial, client-side, for a games company, or for a tech company), or move to London.

You're clearly an extremely smart guy, which is why I follow your blog (plus we both worked at the same company at different times). I think though ultimately, the frustration expressed in this blog post comes down to just not everyone being as smart and dedicated as everyone else. There's always a bell curve, and you're near the top. Limited supply of talent shapes a lot, and wishing everyone was making logical decisions, and thus the business landscape becoming logical, is a path to frustration ;-).

I love this post but not because of any North vs South element, but because it's about standards and fighting for respect.


Without wishing to hijack your blog to promote mine, I've put up a post today that sort-of links to what you're saying ... and that is that when you're in an environment - or geography - that requires you to prove your worth, it means you never have the luxury of being able to rest on your laurels or on somebody else's reputation.

I personally don't think it's a North / South issue [though I appreciate there are elements that would have an influence on that] I see it more as a mindset and attitude. In all honesty, the thing I love about W+K is not that we're great and full of smart, wonderful people ... it's the belief that to stay here [and for us to remain competitive], you have to keep bringing your best to the table which keeps you on your toes with a sense of positive, nervous energy.

In Russia in general the whole of life (including economic) is concentrated in Moscow. Hard to be away from the capital planner :))

Thanks for the article, now I feel not so alone. Even in Europe there are similar problems with peers)

Where is my comment???

Am I being blackballed? Don't blame you - but I was being nice and everything.

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