The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has poured cold water on the threat to the ad industry posed by an in-housing trend which has seen major brands from Sky to Unilever handle their creative accounts more directly.
Dismissing ‘hysteria’ around the trend the State of Advertising study found that the only area where advertisers would in-house rather than outsource was low-cost, fast creative executions - although short-form content marketing and influencer marketing could also be affected.
By contrast fields such as big-ticket creativity, traditional media planning, creative strategy and programmatic search are all expected to escape in-housing, with 50% of respondents expecting these disciplines to spend more externally.
Instead, agencies are expected to benefit from increased spending on traditional media buying, an area where 45% of respondents expect to spend ‘significantly’ more and 35% ‘somewhat’ more over the next 12 months.
In all 30% averred that the effectiveness of their content marketing had ‘increased dramatically’ over the past five years, although this figure plummeted to just 8% for those promoting to new markets or a new product – despite 55% stating that the majority of their investment was targeted on these so-called ‘top of the funnel’ activities.
Stephan Loerke, chief executive of the WFA said: ”As in industry, we are often prone to overstating sweeping new trends so this is a useful bellwether of what a lot of the world’s top brands really think. There is great optimism in terms of the perceived effectiveness of some direct response inventory but brands increasingly face the problems of clutter, ad blocking, declining reach and trust in advertising. There is also a stark reminder that, for all the talk of in-housing, our agency partners will remain critical partners in achieving brands’ goals.”
The findings were drawn from over 100 individuals drawn from 70 companies worldwide.