Brands shop for new ad agencies and it could hurt holding companies - Business Insider

Billions of dollars are up for grabs as marketers get ready to spend again, but it will be tough for the ad giants like WPP and Publicis to capitalize on them

10/31/2020 4:24:00 PM

Billions of dollars are up for grabs as marketers get ready to spend again, but it will be tough for the ad giants like WPP and Publicis to capitalize on them

Business Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web.

Tech, consulting capabilities are more important than ever beforeMany advertisers have shifted big chunks of ad spend to platforms like Amazon in recent months as TV ratings declined in the absence of live sports, Sharp said, a trend that benefits specialty firms and makes agencies' tech capabilities particularly important.

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Holding companies have adapted; Omnicom Media Group developed a custom Amazon interface that allows its agencies to quickly cancel or redirect ad buys in a crisis scenario when a product like toilet paper isn't available, and North America CEO Scott Hagedorn said potential clients have asked how Omnicom could automate this process.

In other big changes to the agency world, clients also are shifting to consulting and in-housing services, which positions new and small agencies to benefit.MediaLink's Sharp sees more demand by marketers for consulting on short-term projects, like adjusting to Apple's new mobile ad tracking policy.

Holding companies are trying to adjust to this reality; IPGrecently launched a consulting firm called Black Glassrun by a former Deloitte Digital executive.If there's a bright side for agencies, the trend of marketers doing more of their advertising themselves may have hit a bump; Sharp also said some MediaLink clients have delayed plans to in-house their marketing, and Hagedorn said some Omnicom clients' in-house teams weren't prepared to switch gears when the pandemic hit.

Denford, whose company just acquired auditing firm PJL Media, said more clients are asking for audit services like ones provided by PJL because they realize that in-housing alone won't ensure a better return on their investment.More advertising will be up for grabs in 2021

Mitchell Caplan, managing director of consulting firm Flock Associates, said the businesses most likely to review their agencies in 2021 are banks, which have yet to feel the full effects of the pandemic; retail chains fearing another lockdown; automakers whose sales have dropped with plants closing; and pharmaceutical companies.

Olivier Gauthier, CEO of market research firm Comvergence, said the big holding companies are in a Catch-22 because they need to grow, but limited resources force them to focus on their largest clients.According to MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan, the theme for marketers and agencies alike in the coming months will be "adapt or die."

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