Adrian_MooneyAdrian Mooney: What I get out of my relationship with Oystercatchers is a fantastic knowledge of the London agency scene – not just from the creative point of view as you may expect (they’ve got a lot of people in the business that used to work in creative agencies) but also the other areas that are also important that can create value for your brand like PR and media as well.  I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Oystercatchers on all three in the past couple of years.

Adrian Mooney: The benefit that Oystercatchers delivered when I worked at Weetabix was really being the conduit between the client and the agency.  You go into a number of different meetings; you have your chemistry meeting, you have your briefing meeting, you have your tissue meeting, but the real quality and the insight around how the agency are feeling, how they’re going to approach the work, your feedback to them really comes in the relationships with people like Peter and Suki at Oystercatchers which is something you can’t do if you’re just working as a client directly on that pitch process.

Adrian Mooney: At Tetley it was slightly different and I think the benefit there for us was looking far and wide for the best media partner.  Media isn’t as creative in the way you measure a creative agency, but there are some fantastic exponents of using media to meet a positioning and we had a positioning around stronger together and getting people together over a cuppa which Oystercatchers really got, and they made sure agencies that we talked to also got it as well.  We had a really tough choice, we had 4 or 5 agencies to cull down and it was hard, it was really hard, because everybody it because Oystercatchers really got it.

Adrian Mooney: Heading up marketing at Tetley I’ve got two big challenges.  One is really putting the brand front and centre in the consumers mind and secondly attracting top talent.  If you do the first one really well it makes the second one much easier.  Pivotal to all that is working with the right agency so what I see most important as the facet of an agency is the creativity, sitting down with a creative, trusting what they’re saying, believing where they’re going and having a bit of hand-holding on the way is really important.

Adrian Mooney: What keeps me awake at night I guess are commercial challenged.  We live in a world where consumers are looking for value and that’s absolutely fine – we all do it.  Supermarkets have a duty to deliver that, that’s absolutely fine, but there has to be a balance between delivering that value and a place for creative for creative brand marketing.  I just fear that we are running out of runway as promotions become incessant and the value is all about price and less about product propositions and we’re seeing this in many facets of the industry.  To find an agency with maturity to understand that balance is quite a hard find.  You want the creativity, you want the brilliant account management, but also you want the business sense that they can lock into where you’re going and understand the challenges you face because you have to be very flexible.