Quebec agencies Advertising promotes advertising

Quebec's leading advertising agencies have decided to practise what they preach.A group of 14 have collaborated on a special supplement in the Quebec marketing trade magazine Info Presse that uses advertising to promote advertising.The ads amount to 14 case histories of...

Quebec’s leading advertising agencies have decided to practise what they preach.

A group of 14 have collaborated on a special supplement in the Quebec marketing trade magazine Info Presse that uses advertising to promote advertising.

The ads amount to 14 case histories of advertising campaigns that helped build clients’ businesses. The case histories are taken from real experiences from each of the agencies.

The campaign is aimed at francophone business leaders, but is being viewed as a first step in what the Quebec agency community hopes will be a broader effort by the advertising community in Canada to promote its own product.

‘The value of advertising is still a question mark,’ says Jacques Duval, chairman and chief executive officer of Marketel and a vice-president of the Association des agences publicite du Quebec, under whose auspices the campaign was developed.

‘Advertising budgets were cut in Quebec as much as any place else, but I think the pendulum is swinging back,’ Duval says.

‘Time was right’

‘We decided the time was right to take this first step in presenting case histories that prove advertising works.’

The format of the supplement provides each agency with a two-page spread.

On the right-hand page, the agency presents its vital statistics, and on the left-hand page reveals the details of a successful ad campaign for one client.

‘There’s real dynamism in this market,’ says Claude Boulay, aapq president and head of Groupe Everest International, referring to the willingness of 14 agencies to pull together in a common industrial effort.

‘There is a lot of leadership coming out of this province,’ Boulay says.

‘In Quebec, you still have a lot of owners running their agencies, not just managers,’ he says. ‘My business is here, and I have to make sure I keep it.’

Duval, who is also a member of the Institute of Canadian Advertising through McCann-Erickson Advertising, says he hopes the aapq initiative will encourage the ica to mount a similar advocacy program.

Widening distribution

Duval says the next step for the aapq will be to plan widening the distribution of the supplement to such business publications as Les Affaires, and to produce an English-language version to send to the marketing community outside Quebec.

Duval also hopes the supplement will have a practical application.

With advertisers identified in the testimonials, prospective clients will have a ready list of references.

‘When you are hiring a lawyer, you always check references,’ Duval says.

‘Why shouldn’t that happen when you go out to hire an ad agency?’ he asks.

‘Maybe this way we could help to cut down on speculative pitches, which continues as a costly practice in this industry.’