The Case for Space Cheap to Test, Quick to Turn Around (1,285
Where Novus is strictly in the business of placing space, Lavery Rowe Advertising Ltd. is a full-service agency that billed more direct business last year than Saatchi & Saatchi. In 1998, Lavery Rowe created 10,000 different advertisements which ran in 22 national newspapers in the United Kingdom and a variety of magazines.
Lavery Rowe differs from Novus in that it does it all for the client: picks the products, figures out the arithmetic, creates the offers, produces the ads and places them. Creative is free; Lavery Rowe makes its money on the placement of the ads.
According to its affable, rumpled managing director, Nigel Rowe, clients don't come to him with ad budgets. "If an ad works and the product sells, it will create its own budget," Rowe says. "Our investment is getting your ad to work. Repeat ads are how we make our money." He adds: "A good product is worth more to me than a new client."
Lavery Rowe buys blocks of space in the national newspapers at huge discounts and resells it piecemeal to its clients at massive savings under what they would pay on their own.
British consumers respond to mail-order ads—especially the folks over the age of 50 who spend money on health, vitamins, gardening, leisure products and clothes for £12 and under. Response by e-mail is minimal. Forty percent to 50 percent of the orders come in by phone with credit cards; coupons work well, but they are often not used in fractional ads because they take up so much space.
Lavery Rowe's structure is unique in that it has no media department. Rather, the 10 account executives are, in effect, one-person agencies and do it all—client hand-holding, creative, media placement and analysis. Rowe briefly got into the fulfillment business and got out. "It was the hardest work I ever had to do in my life," he says. "I worked every weekend." Fulfillment is outsourced for clients who don't have their own.