Why is Dell hiring an "Agency?"

Lots of chatter today about Dell and “Project Da Vinci.” If you haven’t heard about it, it’s basically a commitment by WPP (the folks who bought the first agency I worked for) to create a worldwide marketing agency devoted to serving Dell.

Here’s the official word from Dell. The take from O’Dwyer’s is here.

I’m a little confused as to the benefit. My understanding of one of the benefits of working for an agency was the opportunity to work on several different pieces of business with the benefit to you of keeping things interesting and broadening your skill set and to your clients of your cross-pollination (yes I don’t like the term either but it fits) adding to the creativity and opportunities available to them. This leads to greater staff retention and better results for clients. Easy enough to understand.

I’m all for new and creative ways to do things, it’s just that this seems to me to bring together the worst of both worlds. I know ( in the blog world way of knowing people) several people over at Dell and they are smart people so I’m giving this the benefit of the doubt. But, if these people at “Da Vinci” are all completely dedicated to Dell why not just hire them?

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