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The future of agencies – yes, they do have one

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The Future of TV Advertising Global (the new name for the London edition of Future TV Advertising Forum, held earlier this month) is one of the best places to feel the pulse of the global TV advertising industry. It gives you a sense of the challenges ahead and the solutions available. Here are our key takeaways from the 2019 event.

Takeaway No.7: Yes, agencies do have a future

Every year on the eve of Future TV Advertising Global, an invitation-only Pathfinders gathering addresses some of the hottest topics in advertising. This year it focused on the future of agencies (and whether they have one). It will come as no surprise that leading media agencies believe they have a great future ahead of them, despite the attentions of brand procurement officers on the one hand and media services consulting firms like Accenture on the other. But even if you accept that every senior executive is obliged to be confident about their own organisation, the arguments they made were persuasive.

To summarise a presentation by Rachel Forde, CEO at Universal McCann, the world needs agencies because:

  • They are the guardians of effectiveness for client campaigns across the whole communications ecosystem. So, while every media owner or media champions their own cause, the agencies are in a position to be independent. Agencies can look at the holistic picture, working out how best to use the different media and media owners together.
  • Agencies are the guardians of balancing the long-term and short-term goals of their clients.
  • They are the guardians of client spend, making sure that it goes where the audiences are.

This event resulted in a long list of what agencies must do to maintain their relevance, including: Act fast, like when optimising campaigns based on data feedback; Be an extension of the client team; Be a step ahead to help clients future-proof themselves.

We will cover this subject in more depth in January.


Read our full list of takeaways from The Future of TV Advertising Global 2019:

Takeaway 1: Television is back on the offensive


Takeaway 2: It’s not a question of if you follow the 60:40 rule, just how you implement it


Takeaway 3: Addressable TV is coming fast, as a complement to ‘national’ ads, not as a replacement


Takeaway 4: Unification of broadcast and digital is everything – priorities No.1 and No.2 for TV


Takeaway 5: TV is an activation medium, which makes it a uniquely full-funnel offering


Takeaway 6: The real magic is data-driven, audience-based buying


Takeaway 7: The future of agencies – yes, they do have one


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