Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Fri, 15 Nov 2002 09:06:52 GMT

The Dallas Business Journal reports that Springbok (Cohn & Wolfe) the technology PR firm based in Dallas-Fort Worth has closed its doors. While not a tier one dot com PR brand like Niehaus, Ryan Wong (RIP), Springbok was well known and is yet another casualty of the technology downturn…or are they?

I wonder if Springbok had not been re-christened “Springbok Cohn & Wolfe” would they have closed their doors or would they have simply re-structured to survive in a more harsh economic environment? When your parents have standard corporate ‘ratios’ for fees, profit etc., decisions are often taken centrally that would not be taken by independent firms.

Can we expect widespread culling of the ‘independent’ shops that were bought up during the boom – just becuase they don’t meet the new corporate ratios?

If that’s the case, will a new generation of independent firms rise from the ashes to further reduce the return that the Advertising agencies – sorry holding companies – will get from their investment in PR?

Let’s face it, the establishment of a new PR firm (outside expertise and bringing clients on-board) is trivial in terms of cost and time. Maybe the Ad Agencies have been duped.

Certainly by closing these PR firms they are directly increasing competition against their remaining brands. Consultants made redundant in this environment will look to take some of that business with them.

Maybe we can look forward to a new generation of independents rising from the ashes. I believe diversity is good. Diversity breeds innovation and competition. If the survivors of Springbok and other firms decide to strike out themselves I wish them the very best of luck. [Comments]

Supplemental: Since I posted the Springbok story is has emerged that UK firm/conglomerate Chime, the third largest ‘Marketing Services Group’ has warned of dismal financial results…..mmmm

Written by Tom Murphy

November 15, 2002 at 10:06 am

Posted in General

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