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Another Ad Agency Disruptor?

Yes, it’s been a dizzying—and thrilling—past couple of years as new disruptive business models rise to the surface across every industry imaginable like digital froth bubbling over a cappuccino. Just last week I came across another one—this time for the ad industry—that I thought was cool, and worth sharing: OpenAd.net, a sort of eBay for advertising, marketing, and design ideas. How it works: any company looking for a creative idea posts a brief, a timeframe for turnaround, and how much they’re willing to pay. OpenAd’s global network of 8,000 creatives spanning 122 countries can compete for the business—and may the best ideas win.

The companies posting briefs can be anyone from a corporate behemoth like Coke, to a mom-and-pop shop NYC bodega; equally, the creatives competing can be a freelance art director in Ghana, or a creative team at Crispin Porter + Bogusky (assuming Alex okays it). Companies can access the best creative ideas from any corner of the earth, while creatives can win business for brands that otherwise wouldn’t let them past parking lot security. For instance, P&G posted a brief for a Gillette Fusion campaign in the US and Puerto Rico, and Indian agency Live 1 Entertainment won the business, licensing their idea to P&G for some $4,000. Talk about the borderless wild west.

Interestingly enough, OpenAd is hubbed in Slovenia: its cofounders are Katarina Skoberne, an English-French-Italian-German-Slovenian speaking former ad agency entrepreneur and TV-host (not to mention, she has a degree in electrical engineering), and Vital Verlic, a creative, who rolled out the site in 2003.

Of late, ad agencies have been the proverbial dart board for competitive disruptive models–any chance something like OpenAd could be a viable threat? What other democratizing forces have you stumbled upon?

DS