12 Ad Agencies that couldn’t care less about Google


Mischief. The first twelve Advertising Agency web sites I looked at are making no effort to attract web traffic. Either they have as much work as they want or they don’t believe that potential clients search the internet for advertising agencies. Maybe they rely on being in the Yellow Pages.

All sites run fancy Flash animation; none of them deprecate properly for people with JavaScript turned off. The full Flash sites are extremely annoying for users. Hit the Back button in your browser while visiting The Brand Agency, Campaign Palace or Naked and get thrown out of the site. Oh good, I get to look at that animation all over again!

None of the sites have Title tags that include any reference to ‘advertising’, ‘media’ or ‘marketing’. This is part of the reason why none of their sites are found when you type “advertising agency” into Google.

None of the sites have Description tags. Which means that when you type ‘saatchi‘ into Google it tells you this about the company:

Saatchi & Saatchi PR in Romania has been appointed by Alpha Bank, a leading name in the financial sector, to handle its PR account. READ MORE > … Compelling content for English-speaking people interested in Romanian bank Public Relations – alas, I’m one of the few …

Saatchi’s site was broken when I visited; none of the links worked. I tried IE and Firefox and re-downloaded Flash but still nothing. I emailed their webmaster. Waiting on a response. Update: links now working.

When you type GPYR into Google it tells you this about the company:
home; about us · work · services · tools · contact us · brand partners · careers. George Patterson Y&R is Australia’s newest (and oldest) advertising agency …

Wunderman‘ gives you this:
Welcome to Wunderman : Welcome to the site for Wunderman, the original direct marketing agency. To get our conversation… Welcome, welcome. Should be called Doorman, not Wunderman.

Clearly none of the agencies understand that you can control the way Google presents your search result. Many of the sites don’t work if you omit the www; this can be fixed with a simple re-direct. And it seems none of them know how to get a full Flash site properly indexed by Google, thereby increasing web traffic. I digress.

DDB have a one page site that allows you only an email link. Times are tough. The design of many sites, such as BMF and Clemenger has not been updated in years. The gratuitous use of sound is particularly 1990s.

JWT, Grey and Singleton Ogilvy make up the twelve.

It’s as if they created their sites before Google was invented.

Oh! Found one traditional agency who know what they’re doing: Marketforce use the words “marketing” and “advertising” in their Title tag and have written one Description tag. As a result, they come up at #12 when you search for “Advertising Agency”. A bit of tweaking would put them in the top couple.

I’m running some half-day seminars on web promotion shortly in Perth. If you’d like to pre-register, give me a yell.



  1. Given that I have a small amount of experience with Wunderman this doesn’t surprise me in the least. When a major account is given to ‘The Web Guy’ because it involves using computers, you tend to suspect they’re a little out-of-touch with the technology.

  2. I guess they’re not spruiking their abilities as website creators but I just had this sense that while advertising has evolved to include online, traditional agencies have just completely handed that territory to digital agencies. They own a lot of those businesses, so in terms of promoting themselves, shouldn’t they be a bit more savvy?

  3. Wunderman were trying to brand themselves as a Web2,0 agency. That’s why they were (still are?) spending so much time in Second Life. The paradigm has shifted and unfortunately for most of the heritage agencies their efforts are a little like a dad trying to be cool around a group of teenagers. All they do is look out of place.

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