The latest whipping boy of ad blogosphere is WPP’s Enfatico. Right from the time it was ‘Project Da Vinci’ it has been in the news, but almost always, for the wrong reasons. Almost 9 months have passed in the 3-year contract and the agency is yet to release a campaign for Dell. That’s been a source of amusement for news dailies and blogs. The New York Post has a story about it and so do several blogs including this and this. Someone has even taken the trouble to create a spoof website – Enfartico. The agency is a particular favourite for the acerbic ad-veteran George Parker through his blog AdScam.
Late last year they won the global pitch to handle the $4.5bn Dell business. It was an attempt by Dell to consolidate a roster of more than 800 global agencies(?) into one. When initial reports said that the name being considered was Synarchy, the sniggers started getting louder. The final name, chosen after several months of research was Enfatico. The name has been drawn from musical notation – with Enfatico meaning to play each note “with emphasis” or “emphatically”.
Michael Dell hasn’t helped things either by saying incoherent stuff about Enfatico in this video: “First we will spend what we spent more efficiently. And that gives us the option to either spend more and get more for it or use the efficiency to spend a little less and become more competitive”. Yeah, right.
Given that the contract is only for 3 years and Dell operates in a category where speed is of essence, a 9-month gap in getting ads out is strange. Is the client not taking a decision? Or is it just that the agency has not cracked it? Sir Martin Sorrell is not one for putting up with such media flak. Wonder he has to say about all this? With a name like Enfatico you are inviting trouble. Hopefully all the egg-throwing will trigger the Harvard types who head up the place to do something.
Folks in the agency business love to make fun of other agencies. Very rarely do you see one agency applauding a rival’s work. Most of the work done by others get trashed – call it the not-invented-here syndrome or plain jealousy. An advanced version of this syndrome is to pick on an agency which is going through a bad patch and give it a premature burial. Are we seeing that here? Any comments?