Paying for ideas? or a seamless extension to a clients marketing department?

New agency types like and are trying the paying for ideas route. Is this the way to break out of the current cycle of bogus pitches and constant 'cost reviews'?
Clients have been shedding staff from marketing departments at a rapid rate. Now more than ever you have brands that need complete support. A great idea poorly carried through will do as much damage as shallow thinking wrapped up in gorgeous execution.
We are in an amazing year for opportunities, media costs have never been lower, clients have never been more open to 'plan B' thinking. It might not be like the '70s golden age of advertising buoyed up by tobacco money. But I do see it as a golden age of communications. Clever smart messaging that reassures consumers they are making the right brand choice.