Little surprise in the news that WPP is to axe thousands of staff, and we've already discussed our fears that many of us could lose our jobs.

But is it possible that entire Agencies could disappear?

In the Guardian today, Lucy Barrett writes that in 2009 "there is a real chance that we will see the collapse of some famous agencies."

I suppose if famous retailing names can disappear from the High Street, there is no reason to believe that well-known firms in our own industry are immune, and we should expect that one or more Agencies will go under.

But which ones?

I don't know the answer to that. The person who might is Lorna Tilbian of Numis Securities. She is the City's most respected media analyst, having covered the sector for 22 years.

Obviously for City investors, it is crucial to know which firms might go bust. Lower profits are painful, but they can bounce back. A dead body can't.

Alas I have lost the link - perhaps someone could point me in the right direction - but Ms Tilbian had a great piece of analysis on this, which as a Creative I found hugely thrilling.

She found that Agencies which declined or went bust were ones which had stopped winning awards.

Okay, at first sight, I know that sounds unbelievable.

But think about it.

Awards are an indicator of good work. Not the only one, and by no means a perfect one, but an indicator nonetheless.

And in advertising, as in every other industry, producing a quality product is the surest path to success.

Of course there are many other factors that can bring an Agency down - such as financial mismanagement - but poor product will eventually lead to business failure, just as it did for Woolworths, MFI, and the American auto industry.

Remember, it's not me, a Creative, making a self-serving argument here. It's Lorna Tilbian, the City's most respected media analyst, suggesting a set of data (awards results) that hard-headed number-crunchers should use to determine which companies to invest in.

So hold your heads up high, my brothers & sisters, and let's remember that it's us, the Creatives, who have the power to get our Agencies through this recession.

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