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Agency: Starting a Creative Firm in the Age of Digital Marketing (Advertising Age) 2015th Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1137279866
ISBN-10: 1137279869
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Agency is full of incredibly valuable insights and advice for startups of all kinds, delivered with candor, humor, and wisdom." - Allison Arden, VP Publisher, Advertising Age, and author of The Book of Doing

"This is not just a book. It's the playbook I wish I had when I started my company. It's the motivating nudge that recharges my reserves of inspiration. It's the real talk, often humorously delivered, that so many of us creative entrepreneurs need. Thank you, Rick, for the best PSA I've ever encountered." - Baratunde Thurston, CEO and Co-Founder, Cultivated Wit and Co-host, TakePart Live on Pivot TV

"Rick Webb has written the ultimate keep-it-in-the-top-drawer-of-your-desk, straight-talking, 'every single thing you could possibly want to know' guide to starting, running, growing, and selling your own creative agency. It doesn't get any more helpful, practical and down-to-earth than this. Rick's delivers actionable pragmatism while also challenging readers to think differently about the business they do. As the saying goes, you need to know the rules to break them. I hope Rick's highly enjoyable read inspires as many people as possible to do their own thing in our industry, in a way that changes it for the better for everyone." - Cindy Gallop, Founder and CEO, IfWeRanTheWorld/MakeLoveNotPorn

"Since Confessions of an Advertising Man was first published, it has been considered the definitive book on advertising. Now at last there's a book for the digital age to challenge it. Rick Webb's Agency is the book David Ogilvy might have written if he were alive today. It's a must read for anyone who is a practitioner or student of marketing communications." - Rick Boyko, Former Co-President/CCO Ogilvy North America, Director, VCU Brandcenter

"Agency should be required reading for everyone in the business of helping clients achieve their goals with words, pictures, and ideas. Rick Webb is a font of practical advice based on his experience founding and growing one of the most successful next generation agencies around. Whether you're just starting out or trying to drag your old school shop into the 21st Century, this is the book for you." - Steve Hayden, Vice Chairman and Former Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

About the Author

Rick Webb currently serves as a venture partner at Quotidian Ventures, Head of People Operations at marketing software startup Percolate, and as the Founder and CEO of Secret Clubhouse. In 2001, Webb co-founded The Barbarian Group, an award-winning digital ad agency. He served as its COO for the first ten years of the company's existence. Webb is a writer and an avid blogger on technology, advertising, economics, politics, and the government.
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Product Details

  • Series: Advertising Age
  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2015 edition (January 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137279869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137279866
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Brunelle on February 25, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rick Webb takes us through the nooks and crannies of starting, nurturing, growing and selling a modern marketing agency. This book covers 10 years of authentic experience - pulling few punches. I wish I had been able to read Agency before launching my own.

Rick begins and ends with culture. I think his definition and process is very astute. You could profit just from that section of this book alone.

But he goes deep, into all of the banal aspects of running a digital marketing firm, without making the reading dull. He demonstrates how culture influences accounting, promotions, scoping - and provides a blueprint for each step in defining and growing a successful firm.

If you're thinking about starting a shop, read this first. If you're already underway, read this and you'll find many hints, insights and stories to benefit from.

They'll be assigning this book in advertising, marketing and entrepreneurial studies classes because it's well written, honest and useful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It tempts you with an intriguing/informative headline then delivers the mundane. Would have liked to see more applicable advice on managing teams, projects and clients. Templates were nice, but why use them when so many digital tools cover those bases? Overall, it is a good memoire of an advertising man, but we need more in the scope of actually creating and managing an agency.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ever see the 80s show The Greatest American Hero, where the unwitting hero is given a super suit with amazing powers - flight, bulletproof, strength? But he loses the manual and can't figure out how to fully use the suit.

This book is like that manual. Operating an agency without it means figuring out many day-to-day things on your own.

The book contains very detailed, practical and pragmatic advice for real world agency situations from someone who has been through it from start to finish.
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Format: Hardcover
Perhaps the only thing more challenging than writing Rick Webb’s brilliant, dense, and comprehensive “Agency”, is writing a review of it. For Mr. Webb had it easy – 300+ pages in which to explore every grotty little nook and cranny of the modern agency, while we only a mere 800 words. Fifty of which we’ve already wasted whining.

For this is a tremendous work, and anyone running an agency should buy it. In fact, anyone working in an agency, thinking of starting their own agency, or planning on hiring an agency to do anything for them should buy it too.

Why? Because it’s not just a book, it’s a god-damned business manual. One that’s been tested against (to read the rest of this review, please visit[...]
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you only read one book before taking the leap into digital marketing entrepreneurship, this is a great choice. I read it a year after starting my company, so I'm speaking from experience when I say a lot of the difficult lessons I learned on my own are clearly explained in this book. Better still, I feel prepared and positive about future growth thanks to the book's illuminating strategies -- a perfect blend of practical, actionable advice and smart business and marketing philosophy.

You really get the sense that the author has paid his dues in the trenches at the highest levels of the marketing world, without feeling condescended or intimidated. The tone is friendly, casual, humorous without being silly, and painfully honest when it needs to be, pulling no punches.

So many books of its ilk are too focused on motivation to offer practical advice, or too focused on procedures and processes to be human and interesting. Agency hits the sweet spot -- informative, insightful, comprehensive, a pleasure to read... and above all, good for your bottom line and your sanity/happiness.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hello Mr. Webb

I just finished reading your book (Agency, Starting a Creative Firm) over the long weekend here in Singapore. It's not a page-turner for most of my fellow species members, but for me, it was. It's one of those books that I wish I read five years ago (technically impossible, especially because you published the book only this year). I am running a boutique agency focussed on B2B technology companies for over a decade. We never had any ultimate goal in mind, making a decent profit and doing good work was good enough. Your book is not only a great framework to evaluate and align our organization, but also a great guideline to derive a purpose. I couldn't sleep last night. Armed with all the highlights and notes from your book (and almost half bottle of a Japanese single malt whiskey), I jotted down a workable action plan. I am feeling exhilarated!

Thank you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written, approachable and filled with practical knowledge built on real world experience. Must read for anyone starting / running an agency. But I would also recommend it to anyone that works for or with agencies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Advice like this is very hard to come by. Even though we are a small video production company I found this book incredibly useful and applicable to our situation. The advice in here comes with humility. Will soon begin reading this for a second time.
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