The Insider has received an anonymous tip-off [Ed: is there ever any other kind?] that somethings going down over at BBDOs CHE (Clemenger Harvie Edge). Our mystery marketer says that CHE is about to kill off NetX in Melbourne, the full service digital agency acquired by Clemenger. Staff at NetX will likely be repositioned somewhere else in the CHE machines mainframe.

It looks to be another example of a worrying condition now known globally as IGW, or Integration Gone Wrong. The formulas pretty simple:

  1. Large agency realises it needs digital on its rate card.
  2. Large agency is confounded by the amazing culture at independent digital agency – all these people appear to care about what they do, and even enjoy their work. Strange.
  3. Large agency buys independent digital agency and promises not to change the culture.
  4. Large agency then imposes elephantine corporate structure and converts full service digital agency into soul-crushing banner ad sweat shop.
  5. The culture that made the independent digital agency so attractive is smothered like a cashed-up pensioner with a pillow, talent at the agency leave, and the agency eventually dies.

This process seems to be the model for integration adopted by many large agencies, but clearly its poisonous.

Not much consolation for NetX though.