Every week The Dayton Business Journal publishes a “list” of the top 12 or 24″ players” in a field from Hospitals to Title firms, and once a year they publish their “List of Advertising Agencies” which is always good for a few laughs by those of us in the business.
As I am fond of saying, “Good research is expensive, bad research is more expensive” (in case this is instantly apparent- the cost of doing the wrong thing because you did your research poorly is always more expensive than doing the right research to begin with). The Business Journal’s methodology is suspect at best. They fax a questionnaire out to the agencies they have identified- never telling us how many it is sent to then they take the responses, without verifying the answers, and compile a “ranking” based on number of employees, or gross billings as reported, and this creates their “List.” I don’t claim that my list of agencies that aren’t The Next Wave is complete, but I update it every time I run across another firm, and it has links to other resources.
I was going to buy the 10″ x 1″ ad at the bottom of this Years Agency list to promote my list- but they only are going to have 12 agencies this year- a half page, because they didn’t get enough responses. How lame is that. I admit, after not being included last year (when I had my largest employee count and billings) and seeing smaller firms on the list, I wrote “why bother” on my questionnaire and sent it back.
The wonderful ad rep that I deal with at the Business Journal suggested I talk to the publisher. She transferred me, I left a message and got a call back from the Editor, who was about as flexible in her thinking as a brick wall. So, according to the Dayton Business Journal there are only 12 Ad Agencies in Dayton. End of story (except here).
Not only that, I tried to explain to them how a list could be complete and useful like my list, but they aren’t interested. They have to be able to rank agencies by size or employee count, I feel that alphabetical works just fine. I offered other ways to rank- number of awards won per employee was one 🙂 No matter, they will republish their list in an annual publication called “The Book of Lists” which is just as worthless. They hawk it for $29 and describe it as:

“PERFECT for: Sales Prospecting, Job Search, Fundraising, and Business Research”.

I call it a poorly researched advertising vehicle.
If you are looking for a list of advertising and design firms in Dayton OH, and surrounding areas, Agencies that aren’t The Next Wave is your best resource. You can contact their publisher to let her know that incomplete lists are a waste of your time and that a complete list would improve their publication. Or you can just use our List of Advertising Agencies in Dayton.

What do you think?