Back to the Future



Although automakers and suppliers have shifted more of their ad work in recent years to national and international agencies, the trend shouldn’t be cause for finger-pointing, says Mark Petrosky, partner and CEO of Duffey Petrosky in Farmington Hills. “People like to blame the auto companies for pulling their accounts, but if an ad program was a success, the automakers wouldn’t be walking away,” he says.

Rather, the advertising industry should fix what ails it — namely, a manic focus on cost-cutting, Petrosky contends. While cost reductions may boost shareholder value, client relationships are deteriorating. Consider the fact that, a decade ago, the average client-agency relationship lasted seven years. Today, it spans just two years.

“When the international conglomerates came in and bought out smaller agencies (over the last decade), all that was left was a shell company, and the people in management got buyouts,” says Petrosky. “That was a recipe for disaster.”

Like Major League Baseball, the ad industry is split into two fairly distinct camps. Large holding companies are akin to the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, with seemingly unlimited financial backing. The rest of the ad market is made up of small- to medium-sized players that must use their resources wisely.

“A big change we’ve seen is that a lot of our accounts are growing organically,” says Jo Bourjaily, Duffey Petrosky’s director of integrated communications and public relations.

Founded 13 years ago with seven employees and a major Ford Motor account, Duffey Petrosky now has a diverse client base. The firm, which today has 70 employees, represents Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chrysler, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and Alleghany Health System, among others.

“It’s really back to the future,” Petrosky says. “Our success lies in building personal relationships.”

Related Articles

Market Leader

Comerica Bank is contributing to Michigan's economic resurgence, but strong customer balance sheets and strong cash positions are negatively impacting loan activity.

Simon Says

With more fuel-efficient vehicles and fewer miles driven, how does Taylor-based Atlas Oil Co. propel a 25-percent growth rate year over year?

Sandy's Ark

ARK prepares businesses and organizations for emergency situations.

Charge Master

Why do some hospitals in the same city or state charge thousands of dollars more for the same procedure?

The Social Network

Our second annual Michigan Social Index, where 50 state-based companies primarily serving consumer markets are rated on their annual Web presence, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and forums.

Most Popular

  1. DIA Announces $27M in New Pledges, Nears Grand Bargain Goal
    The Detroit Institute of Arts announced today that it has received new pledges of $26.8 million,...
  2. Venture Capitalists Go Big in Michigan, National Deals
    Venture capitalists invested nearly $122 million in 11 Michigan-based companies in the second...
  3. Actor Billy Baldwin Supports Breast Cancer Exam Developed in Bloomfield Hills
    Actor Billy Baldwin will be in Bloomfield Hills on Monday to show his support for the First Sense...
  4. It’s Your Party, Detroit: Area Organizations Celebrate the City’s 313th
    Thursday marks the 313th anniversary of Detroit’s founding by the French explorer Antoine de la...
  5. Hat Trick
    Three stadiums north of downtown Detroit, including a new $450-million arena for the Detroit Red...
  6. Exclusive: Downtown Royal Oak Draws Four Restaurants, Including B Spot Burgers
    Four new restaurants are coming to downtown Royal Oak, including a B Spot Burgers by Iron Chef...