Agencies, coronavirus and the new normal



To help our agency community navigate these uncertain and often confusing times, we’ve decided to compile a series of FAQs for our agency community offering our insight into the industry and the impact of coronavirus. With the state of play changing daily, we’ll be updating these articles as we go. But for now, we hope they offer a beacon of reason and informed opinion about the situation we find ourselves looking to acclimatise to.

Head here for our article for brands, and here if you just want to know more about how you can adjust to working from home. And we mightn’t be in the office, but that doesn’t mean we’re any less of a community. If you want to get in touch with us, just give us a call. Whether it’s about this, or anything else.

What’s happening to new business?

Right now, it’s business as usual. We can say that without a smidgen of stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on mentality! You might have seen a couple of reviews we’re working on in the press recently, and it’s been reassuring to see business carrying on. Yes, there have been a lot more video conferences but we’re lucky to arguably be better prepared than ever before using technology. So far, it’s been a case of adaptation rather than anything more drastic. Our platform is set up to be used in these times, with even reviews being able to be run still via the platform.

Are reviews being cancelled or postponed?

We’ve had no cancellations and we truly hope that continues. Brands understand that business needs to carry on, and we all hope in a few months this will be a distant, sanitised memory. Whilst there’s been an instance of one postponement, this review was related to another major event that has had to move given the current climate so it makes complete sense. Contracts are still being signed, and the hunger to work together is still there. We’re well equipped to get through the coming weeks and months using technology and adapting to this new normal. . There will of course be an impact on new business operations, but we recommend you think about what needs to adjust. Whether meeting formats, presentation styles, or what you’re asking from your clients. Bear in mind that people and businesses everywhere are still finding their feet.

How can I stay connected to the industry?

Disconnect is a big shock to the system. With isolation and lockdown in effect, it can feel frightening to think your world will be the same four walls for the foreseeable. But it needn’t be. Our industry is always encouraged to be more outward looking and now is the time when this feels more necessary than ever. Our BITE team is dedicated to bringing the usual insights and trends to you, ensuring your curiosity doesn’t go into isolation as well.

How are people making the most of the platform?

It’s important to stay visible during the coming months, and use the platform to do that. Not just during this time, but in the medium and long-term when you’re looking to rebuild your pipeline. We’ve always said that the platform was built to bring the industry online, and do away with what we saw were a lot of inefficiencies. So we see it as something that can hopefully keep business running and mean almost everything is still within reach online. We’ve also seen a big rise in brands making time for platform demos. With more time to virtually explore what the industry has to offer, we recommend you ensure your agency profiles remain up to date, showing off your best self, and adapt to the times as we anticipate there’ll be more brands than ever online.

How are other agencies responding?

There’s no playbook on how we should be reacting, so of course everyone is doing so on an individual basis. But we’ve seen some great examples of agencies reacting to their new circumstances. Namely, Anything is Possible and their thought piece on COVID-19 and media buying. Whilst Missouri will be publishing a weekly article called The Good News Brand, covering the latest news about brands stepping up to galvanise their consumers and look after their community. The Corner have also uploaded an insight piece to their profile, exploring why we needn’t stifle our creativity in this current climate. Whilst Impero set out how brands prepare for these uncertain times, based on evidence from the past in an attempt to take some learning to help draw a conclusion on how advertising might be affected in the future.  

I’m looking for a silver lining

Until the guidelines from the NHS change, we won’t be able to work how we used to. So we encourage you to embrace this new frontier. This is the biggest test remote working is likely to have in our lifetime, so push yourself and how you work to be different. There are many new challenges, but working virtually is something that could even prove better than the norm at the end of all this. Think about how you can bring your agency more to virtual spaces going forwards. How can your agency brand and ethos continue to thrive in this time?

I’m struggling to work from home - what do I do?

First of all, it’s normal to. Whether you’re a regular home worker, or not, these are unique times. So we’ve asked the people behind Creativebrief to offer their insight into what’s helped them so far. From family FaceTime, to viewing parties, to Joe Wicks, to Animal Crossing. Just remember that no one is hitting the ground running - we’re all adapting.

What if I have more questions?

Whether it’s about business or something else, just drop us a line. Call 020 7478 8200 and you’ll get team assistant Lucy Young’s mobile. From there she’ll put you in touch with a member of our team.

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