Agency Voice — Brand Voice.

Phillip J. Clayton
4 min readJun 27, 2021


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Doing some reading…

I was researching for a broad definition of agency voice, as per usual I stumbled upon something sort of off-topic, I ended up reading this article:

Then I realized there is a book titled ‘Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity’ which then lead me to this:

“Voice is being able to speak up and be heard, and to shape and share in discussions, discourse and decisions. Agency is being able to make decisions about one’s own life and act upon them, to achieve desired outcomes free of violence, retribution or fear.”

I started thinking, if we were to define Agency Voice as being able to speak up and be heard, in order to shape and share opinions that contribute to decisions for social impact. Whilst being able to make decisions and act upon them, in order to achieve desired outcomes for said social impact. Would that change the function and perspective of agencies?

- In this context, I am speaking about ad agencies, full communication agencies, marketing agencies, people who manage clients and their brands. They essentially represent these clients and brands to the public, the consumer, people. -

This would mean, a holistic, and organic (yes, most don’t like those words, get over it) integration of society, life even… with an aim to be free of violence, retribution, or fear. How would this affect marketing, commercials, advertising in general?

Would this require societal change? Advertising, design, art, creative thinking and so much more in the realm of free-thinking have influenced society for decades, advertising and brands actually impact society more than governments. When there are no restrictions placed on ideas, they are released into the world and impact some sort of change, whether they are good or bad comes later.

Can an agency encompass these characteristics? Is the agency voice simply being able to dictate the rules of engagement in marketing strategies and communication for a sale? Or can agencies represent and speak for brands as people with a defined purpose for better?

The questions I thought about today, were induced by the current reality we are experiencing, a crisis unknown like any other in our modern utopia, humanity is now reviewing its disposition. Crippled by a microscopic threat these threats are as always, greater than any weapon ever made.

I have always believed in brands being people-driven, therefore, brands need to communicate with humanistic sensibilities, authentically trying to help, people still need to buy and businesses still need to sell. People support you because they align themselves with your empathy, they are not ignorant to the fact that you have a business to run, but they are people looking for the right support, value means something else now.

Building these relationships will be beneficial after this nightmare ends, people always remember who cared, who helped them. It is important not to appear altruistic because then it comes off a bit pompous, you also don’t want to appear to be doing an act of martyrdom.

As I thought about this, Ogilvy shared this on their social platforms

Our Chief Creative Officer Piyush Pandey & Deputy Chief Creative Officer Joe Sciarrotta join the hashtag #creative leaders of WPP to offer up advice for brands in a time of crisis.

Expect periodic disappointments. They are inevitable. There will be false hope. We need to take advice even when we think it makes little sense. Patience, tolerance, empathy and good humour will all be called upon as never before.

…60% of American adults believe that it is very important for companies to use their voice in this crisis.”

What does the agency voice mean to you? What does it mean to the industry, to the clients, and their consumers? The brands?



Phillip J. Clayton

Brand Design & Development | Brand & Marketing Judge: | Writer | Art & Design | Advertising | Creative Director