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Jan 11, 2002
Blog Post

Cobbler's Children syndrome at OgilvyInteractive website

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Bitching time: MediaPost (who I generally admire) just named OgilvyInteractive as "Interactive Agency of the Year".

Ogilvy's Web sites are among those that prove the adage "the cobbler's children have bad shoes." A wealth of no-nos on display, including:

- Frames and pop-ups used extensively so there's no unique URL for many important pages that visitors might want to link to. (Not to mention the fact that search engines will NEVER see them.)

- We, We, We, Our, We, Our, We, We, Our ..... I defy you to find customer or visitor-centric wording or navigation anywhere on the site. The copywriter was obviously (a) massively egoed and (b) into brochureware. (Warned you I was feelin' bitchy)

- Flash used at the drop of a hat for any possible pretext, and many non-pretexts. OK I understand a Flash movie to show me a creative sample. But Flash for text?? Not only do reporters like me hate Flash, many international clients don't like it because their bandwidth sucks. Also, search engines LOATHE it. (But I guess "we" are so famous that "we" don't need to be found by search engines.)

- No press contacts, no personal contacts, no human beings. On the positive side, since I last went to this site about nine months ago, they have added phone numbers for their various offices (Wahoo!), but apparently very few human beings, aside from the inimitable "We", work at Ogilvy.

- Nothing to collect my name -- no online press list I can join, no email newsletter offers, no form to capture my comments, or anything else. Ogilvy is apparently content that traffic drifts up to its site and then drifts away again. Heaven forbid they should capture it.

How can an agency that is this clueless on a fundemental level win best interactive agency of the year?? Well the big brand name pulled in some big clients who had big budgets and they got to do some really neat stuff for them. Lucky them. Any smaller agency that tries to copy this approach will be doomed.

BTW: I own first editions (lucky me) of David Ogilvy's books, which are excellent reading for any agency wondering how to market itself, online or off. In fact "Confessions of an Advertising Man" is one enormously fun-to-read sales brochure-disguised-as-a-bestseller that I will bet you a zillion dollars the folks in charge of the Web site never laid eyes on. It may have been written before most of us were born, but it's got advice that could perk this site up immediately. Wanna get your own copy? They're fairly cheap at ABE Books, the Web's best used bookstore.

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