having worked at brand, ad, digital and pure design agencies i've got my own run down of who does each element of the creative business process best. i've always learnt as much
as possible from every agency i've been inside, no matter how brief. now i'm in a position to use the best bits from each one i've compiled my list here
This one has to go to Brand agencies. The leap of faith a client has to make when selecting a brand agency must be greater than commiting to a single element of the brand. Any agency that can convince a client to take total control of their brand is doing very well
For my money the best pitchers have always been Ad agencies. There seems to be far more joy for those agencies who have a taste for grandeur and who can introduce an element of the theatrics. Ad agencies go at brainstorming and pitch developing like no one else.
This category is dominated entirely Digital agencies. Even when Digital agencies aren't producing blogs, portals and 'on screen' direct mail, they even manage to produce amazing offline self promotion. See Hi-Res and AKQA
Not the most glamourous category, but an essential one. This last category has to go to Design agengies. They have always seemed to hang on to clients and build long lasting relationships better than anyone else. I think it comes from a 'work horse' mentality that exists here that is not at the fore in other faster paced agencies.