Friday, October 14, 2005

International Dialogue

This past week, I’ve been “channeling” my Dialogue International colleagues who attended the Managers’ Meeting in Budapest.

Who the heck are these people with their odd spellings and occasional bow ties? Dialogue International is a long-standing group of independent advertising firms with a wide variety of clients, focused on helping and learning from one another. The network stretches from Scandinavia all the way to Eastern Europe.

The Quest Business Agency here in Houston, which I left in August 2004 after 20 years, was one of Dialogue’s longest-term members. I was lucky enough to serve as Chairman of Dialogue for several years. Now, the Texas-based agency is no longer active in the network.

Today, Dialogue agencies operate in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, UK, and in the USA, New York.

At the Budapest Managers’ Meeting, 27 agency owners and managers from 19 independent advertising agencies met to share business insights and client opportunities. The independent agency network that has already added four new members this year, welcomed new members from France and Germany – one of these is Champagne Phil’s agency, HOPE (see post below).

Dialogue is close to signing up candidate agencies in Romania, Croatia, and Portugal, and is in talks with agencies in Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Turkey.

Dialogue Chairman Leif Lindau (from Navigator in Sweden) said, “We see this surge of new members as one of many positive signs that the independent sector is thriving. International clients express little satisfaction with the services of the global networks, Dialogue is an effective alternative.”

Check to see something about Dialogue – but there’s a new Web site a-building, and I’ll pass along the new url when it’s ready.

Now for something completely different (a sort of weekend starter). Go to the right and click "Belle of the Blog" for your pop culture fix. 'Bye.

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