Consolidation has been the single largest trend in business during my career, and it’s affected our lives more than we might realize. WalMart has brought us low priced goods, but in so doing has eliminated thousands of independent retailers who had made up the fabric of the Canadian shopping experience. Unique and innovative packaged goods providers have been swallowed up by the Proctor & Gamble and Unilever machines making them juggernauts that are difficult to compete with. In the drug industry, we’ve seen takeover after takeover leaving a handful of major corporations representing billions of dollars in sales. And the advertising industry hasn’t been spared this indignity, with 6 major worldwide agency networks controlling a staggeringly high percentage of total advertising revenues. Does this make anyone take pause? I suppose every generation looks back to what they deem the ‘good old days’ and I’m guilty of that. I miss those local success stories. Small businesses that helped shape our entrepreneurial spirit. That were a part of each community, sponsoring local sports teams and supporting charity drives. When you could pick up the phone and talk to a person in minutes. We’ve fashioned our agency based on these values. Call it old fashioned, but we feel there’s still a need for the kind of unique approach a smaller team of like-minded specialists can provide for healthcare clients. One where a client can feel that the agency has adapted to their changing needs, rather than them being forced through an inflexible global model. Smaller, bespoke agencies have a strong understanding of local market sensitivities and issues, and a nimbleness and flexibility that large agency networks just can’t duplicate. We share goals that go beyond the bottom line. Did I mention that we’re part of a network? It’s true, but the Bloc Partners is a network of independently owned and operated health and wellness agencies that enables Global collaboration without losing our ability to support our unique, localized approach. There is a profound difference. So, our Brave New World keeps spinning, and consolidation is showing no signs of slowing down. For our part, we want to continue to offer that customized and personal approach our clients seem to favour. Old school. Might we succumb to the call of the Network? Never say never, I suppose. If we do though, we’ll work hard to always be down to earth and down to business.