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The Drum Show: the fortunes and future of big agency networks


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

October 25, 2019 | 4 min read

Following a mixed bag of results from IPG, Omnicom, WPP and Publicis, up for discussion this week on The Drum Show is the fortunes and future of the major agency networks.

The Drum Show: The fortunes and future of the major agency networks

The Drum Show: The fortunes and future of the major agency networks

This weeks’ episode was hosted by The Drum’s editor, Stephen Lepitak. He was joined by James Kesner, director at Results International, Martin Vinter, head of media at Ebiquity and The Drum's reporter Imogen Watson.

With different holding companies seeing different results, Kesner recons the head wind that has affected them over the years is in-housing.

He said: "there are changing trends in the industry, everyone has been talking about in-housing. I think in particular out in the US there is a much bigger trend towards in-housing. A lot of the more agile agencies are coping with quite well.

Kesner continued: "I think they’re doing the right thing trying to move forward in technology, making some interesting acquisitions. Look, it’s not straight forward. They’re big ships, and they take some turning.

Given the competitiveness of the industry, with agencies undercutting each other on prices, Lepitak asked whether this has been a major factor in their fortunes and how they can put prices up, while they've cut so much.

Vinter responded that it was a "million-dollar question." He said the "reality in terms of agencies and holding groups is that they’re being squeezed by costs. So there are some legacy behaviours from some advertisers, where you want the best of both worlds and its really difficult for agencies to deliver high-level consultancy while you’re deploying expensive resource into client organisations."

Elsewhere, Christina de Silva, managing director of Cedar UK revealed her bullshit buzzword. While Berghaus took The Drum's Work of the Week crown for a campaign that paid homage to the brand's Newcastle roots with an attitudinal throwback style to the rave scenes of the 90s, Britpop and terrace culture.

The Drum Show will be hosted on LinkedIn and Twitter each Friday afternoon, bringing together voices from across the industry to talk about the top stories of the week.

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