Lessons from AdForum: a dramatic cacophony of chaos in the market

by admin on May 18, 2018

Will Hamilton, of Hamilton Associates, reports from last week’s AdForum Worldwide Summit in New York.

Last week was the busiest week of the year for agency search intermediaries and pitch management consultants. Thirty of the leading consultants gathered in New York to meet with advertising industry leaders, holding companies, independents, brand-tech, media champions, entrepreneurs, and digital pioneers.

Representing the UK, were AAR, Hamilton Associates, ISBA, Observatory International, Oystercatchers, and Tina Fegent Consulting,

Waiting to receive the attendees in uptown and downtown New York and Brooklyn offices, (including one venue on the 84th floor of the new Freedom Tower) were 23 leadership teams with inspiring creative case studies and ground breaking presentations, which included a meeting update from newly appointed WPP joint chief operating officer Mark Read, and Lindsay Pattison, the WPP chief transformation officer.

This years’ participating agencies included: Crispin Porter & Bogusky, DDB Worldwide, Dentsu Aegis Network, Escape Pod, Fly Communications, Grey Worldwide, Havas, IBM Ix, Kiip, MDC, Mullen Lowe Group, Oath, Phenomenon, Project Worldwide, R/GA, Service Plan, SS&K, TBWA Collective, The Media Kitchen, Vice Virtue, Work & Co, WPP, and You & Mr Jones.

Eight recurring themes emerged during the week:

  1. Top-line growth for heritage agencies is increasingly hard to achieve in what was described as “a dramatic cacophony of chaos in the advertising market”. Some agencies are rapidly transforming, some are already well set up to drive growth – it’s fast changing and a complex market.
  2. A feeling for some that the holding company model is broken. Agencies are reviewing the latest round of changes and looking to see what model is best fit for purpose, putting data and technology at the heart of the business. In-housing is a trend that continues.
  3. Agility and flexible working, and/or partnering with clients is fast becoming the norm. New brand platforms at speed are possible, particularly when working with the bigger consultancies, clients seem willing to pay a premium if agencies/consultancies move fast.
  4. Agencies are beginning to present a fiscal edge that focuses the organisation and communications ecosystem towards share price, as well as planning, creativity and effectiveness.
  5. There are two distinct economies – legacy brands that compete with disruptive innovators. Companies that predate the digital revolution and companies that now have asymmetrical competitors, for example Amazon competes with Walmart.
  6. Voice-led communications will have more prominence. Mobile first campaigns have accelerated this year, but voice is becoming prominent. Be warned, by 2020 50% of all searches on the internet will be voice-led.
  7. Google and Facebook’s dominance is unwavering – despite privacy issues – a statistic we were presented showed that Google and Facebook account for 99% of all advertising growth. Amazon in many sectors is transforming the retail experience.
  8. The advertising industry is declining, digital spend is transforming the industry. Perhaps, creativity will be the last legal means of differentiation.

Highlights:

A very strong presentation by DDB global chief executive Wendy Clark, sharing outstanding creative work from McDonald’s, (International Women’s Day), Marmite, Skittles, and John Lewis.

A very diverse and brilliantly well presented session by TBWA Collective with a dynamic all female line-up. It’s been three-and-a-half years since global chief executive Troy Ruhanen took over and the achievements are significant. He has particularly focused on getting the gender balance right, highlighting that, when he took over, only three of the 35 country chief executives were women. Since then, the number of female chief executives is up by 15%, female chief strategy officers by 28%, and female creative directors up by 29%. And, to prove the point, fantastic creative work for Amazon Alexa and Hostelworld, was presented so elegantly by London hero Helen Calcraft.

It was significant and impressive that the newly appointed joint chief operating officer of WPP Mark Read came to New York to talk to the consultants, with an update on the recent changes at WPP on day eight of his new role, along with chief transformation officer Lindsay Pattison. Our view is that WPP is trying to be much more open. It’s “BAU at WPP – with a fresh flair”. It is listening hard and ensuring they absolutely flex to its clients changing needs.

And finally, again a seminal presentation by R/GA, which has reinvented themselves five times every nine years – it knows how to disrupt itself. Its strategic presentation, ability and presence rates them truly world-class – a 10/10 from me.

For the intermediaries and consultants it’s a week of intense meetings with leadership teams – but we return, with a desire to see – how can we assist in building top-line growth for both our clients and agencies alike.

Finally – an interesting statistic presented – we touch our mobile phones on average of 2,617 times a day. Is it time to call your intermediary/pitch management consultant for some timely and groundbreaking advice?

Will Hamilton is managing partner of Hamilton Associates International

 

#AdForumSummit Day 4 & 5: Europe’s biggest indie agency is in 16 countries

by admin on May 18, 2018

AdForum Worldwide Summit NYC April 2018

by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) NEW YORK CITY: Last week, on Day 4 of the AdForum Worldwide Summit, 23–27 April 2018, we pitch consultants met with Fly, Serviceplan, the 4A’s, The Escape Pod and The Media Kitchen, and then on Day 5, the last day, with MDC and R/GA.

Fly

This is an independent agency in New York with a good track record. The name originates from the idea that it had at the beginning, which was to fly under the radar until it was ready to expose its work. The agency is very proud that it was intimately involved in the highly successful launch of the Amazon Kindle some nine years ago. There’s a very experienced team with great chemistry between members— always good to observe in an agency. Happy consultants walked away with a gift bottle of Prosecco, one of the brands that Fly looks after and with some specially designed bottles.

Serviceplan

This is a very impressive, German-owned, independent agency — the largest in Europe, with 4 100 employees in 16 countries — and probably one of the first advertising agencies to be fully integrated, including media planning and public relations. It is the only global independent agency group among the top 20.

Where does the name come from? Serviceplan was named by the founder, the father of the current CEO, when he went to his first clients with a service plan comprising all the resources that the client would need in order to have successful advertising and marketing campaigns.

The agency demonstrated its four Is — innovation, independence, integration and internationalism — through its various case studies for clients such as BMW, Adoptify ( adoption of dogs) and ABB. Its offering is the House of Communication, which incorporates all aspects of its business in most of the countries in which it operates.

With revenues of US$477m per annum and offices in Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, India, Middle East, Korea, China, Russia, Poland and Ukraine, it is now opening in the US with offices in Austin, Atlanta and New York. It offers a fully integrated service but, equally, can work on a project-to-project basis, depending on client needs.

A dynamic team which seems able to overcome the typical cultural issues that beset agencies which operate in many countries.

4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies)

Following a good session last year at the summit, AdForum revisited issues raised previously, such as the agency review process (simplifying it to make it faster and more efficient), and relationship management practices between clients and agencies. The group discussed the growth in project reviews as opposed to whole client reviews, a practice which has seen an increase in recent times.

Client conflict (ie similar categories and brands within the same agency) is becoming less and less of an issue; it’s more important for clients to be able to access the right expertise and they will put up with their competitors being in the same agency, provided this is well-managed. We heard the same from Wunderman in 2017 in New York.

The 4A’s recommends that a relationship audit take place after the first 100 days of a new relationship — and I agree that this is very advisable — in order to tackle any early issues that happen during the first three months after agency appointment.

The Escape Pod

More refugees from the networks, this is an agency that has been in business for 10 years with 92 people in Chicago. Advertising, digital, experiential and post-production, this agency can do everything, including build. It’s strong at new product launches and demonstrates diversity in its top team of partners, who all own the business — this is a purpose-built agency for speed and efficiency, removing unnecessary cost layers that are often associated with the bigger holding company agencies.

The Media Kitchen

A high-energy media agency with very strong programmatic, social and mobile media skills, this group of 120 people is spread across five offices within the various creative agency offices of KBS. With offices in New York, Minneapolis, Montreal, Toronto and London, The Media Kitchen works with many of the creative agencies within MDC.

Trends that it is observing:

  • By 2020, 50% of all searches on the internet will be voice-led
  • We touch our mobile phones an average of 2617 times a day
  • Google and Facebook account for 99% of all advertising growth

We heard about an app called AppAnnie, which checks what apps people are using, and solving segmentation with signals.

Despite a very long day for us consultants, The Media Kitchen was a serious highlight of the week.

MDC

This group of agencies sees itself as a federation of agencies with 52 agencies and 30 reporting units. The principle of the network is that the agencies remain owner-managed, although MDC takes a 51% stake, and this means that the owners retain their interest and do even better than they would have done on their own.

Some of the world’s leading creative agencies are here such as Anomaly, 72andSunny, Forsman Bodenfors, CP+B, Doner, KBS, and they rate the network as being one where “[t]he best agencies want fuel, not control, from a holding company. MDC gets this,” as Carl Johnson, founder of Anomaly, says.

We would like to have seem more work from the agencies but, as there are 52 of them, we settled for an excellent film which captured highlights of commercials and work that these agencies have produced.

MDC told us that its top 10 clients in the federation work with at least four of the individual agencies in the group.

MDC has also invested in an impressive array of PR agencies, including Alison and Partners, Exponent, Hunter PR, Veritas, Sloane & co, to a name only some. All of these investments are for long-term yield and purpose, with very few failing as a result of the careful way in which the MDC group manages at a distance, yet effectively brings and creates opportunities within and among the various agencies.

MDC is active in 95 international markets using implementation partners where it doesn’t have agencies eg South Africa and other African countries. It also has MDC Ventures, investments in adtech companies which will help and support the needs of the agencies within the group.

R/GA

We saw this agency 12 months ago and, as always, it has been extremely busy with a lot of new work, continued innovations and clients. An AdForum favourite, R/GA made some observations that intrigued us:

  • The ad industry is in decline
  • Clients are building more and more capabilities in-house
  • Audiences are declining in the media that has traditionally been supported by advertising
  • There are two economies — legacy brands which compete with disruptive innovators
    • Companies that predate the digital revolution
    • Companies that now have asymmetrical competitors eg Amazon competes with Walmart, Uber competes with owned automobiles

R/GA sees opportunity in all of this (as we would expect) and it helps companies and brands grow by enabling them to change. R/GA itself has reinvented itself five times every nine years; it knows how to disrupt itself.

With transformation at speed being key, R/GA showed us case studies for Next Bank, PepsiCo Life Wtr, LaCroix Bubly, SONIC, Carnival Cruises, Jet.com and Siemens. All of these demonstrated the agency’s ability to develop, design, build, create, market and track products and brands for clients. An extraordinary success story that continues to grow and innovate year on year.

A fitting way to end a brilliant week of highlights, this agency has always scored the highest accolades with the AdForum consultants.

And, so, it ended.

See also

 

Johanna McDowellJohanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) is managing director of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), which is partnered with the AAR Group in the UK. She will be presenting detailed and in-depth reports and case studies on each agency from this 2018 AdForum Summit at presentations in Johannesburg and Cape Town in the next month. 

— One subscription form, three newsletters: sign up now for the MarkLives newsletter, including Ramify headlines; The Interlocker, our new monthly comms-focused mailer; and Brands & Branding, launching soon!

#AdForumSummit Day 3: DAN, IBM iX, Phenomenon & Havas

by admin on May 18, 2018

AdForum Worldwide Summit NYC April 2018

by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) NEW YORK CITY: Thirty tired consultants set out again at 7am on Wednesday morning for Day 3 of AdForum Worldwide Summit, 23–27 April 2018, this time to meet with Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), IBM iX, Phenomenon and Havas.

Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN)

We met with Nick Brien, one of AdForum Summit’s favourite CEOs, who’s recently been appointed as CEO of Dentsu Aegis Networks in the Americas. Brien is a veteran of the industry and talks about being back in the heartland of advertising, now that he is with DAN. This is a relatively new network, with Dentsu having only bought Aegis five years ago. It could be said that the Japanese are quite secretive or discreet about their operations. What we know about them in South Africa and Africais that it has a number of media agency and digital media brands, and has recently started to acquire creative agencies — such as Fox P2. This is also the case in the Americas and the UK and Europe, where it is strong. In the UK, it has McGarry Bowen and John Brown Media as creative agencies and has recently appointed a leading creative ex Mother to lead its creative thrust.

It seems as if the network is focused on real growth with the addition now of Brien to lead the way in the Americas. DAN reported that agencies such as 360i, a digital media agency in the group, is about 55% media and the rest of the growth is coming from content and creative.

DAN is a network to watch: it is flexible and innovative without the constraints, it seems, of the traditional holding companies. Brien wants to ensure that the group provides the objective input that clients need more and more, and what agencies were set up originally to do.

Our comment to them was that we, as consultants, know very little about them and perhaps their marketing needs to be upweighted!

IBM iX

We saw IBM’s digital/design arm two years ago in New York and a lot has happened since. The kind of business it is winning is in the area of marketing transformation and marketing analytics. It’s also starting to obtain recognition in creative award shows such as the Effies. It does compete occasionally with digital agencies such as AKQA, Sapient and R/GA.

IBMiX has 40 studios throughout the world with 16 000 associates, including a thriving office in South Africa. It conducts regular research among CMOs regarding business transformation globally.

Once again, blockchain came up as a technology, and IBM demonstrated where it’s being used in advertising already. Because blockchain can’t be altered, it helps with brand safety and media transparency. Unilever, GroupM and IBM have already started to use this and it’s helping with automated reconciliation processes, transparency and ROI.

Phenomenon

The highlight of the day, this independent agency with offices in Los Angeles (110 people) and Chicago (10) showed us what is possible when agencies are involved from the very beginning in partnering with clients. “Familiar is failure” is its ethos and it believes that it charts the unknown to drive business transformation.

Case studies for Intuit, Fly Wheel and Wilson sporting goods demonstrated its abilities. We were particularly impressed with the four-minute film for Intuit, the overall brand for sub-brands Quickbooks, Turbo Tax and Mint. Interestingly, the equity of the sub-brands has been very strong from a product perspective and those brands are handled via Wieden and Chiat Day.

The way Phenomenon works is to encourage its clients to think of a remarkable question which will describe what the problem is that the agency needs to solve.

The agency is looking at projects for brands with questions such as these:

  • Pepsi: What business would we be in if we did not sell soda? Pepsi will produce a first product line beyond the bottle. Millennials are not buying sugar water.
  • American Express: How do you make a 168-year-old brand a thought leader in travel for millennials?Friendcation without the friction.
  • P&G: How would you launch P&G’s first luxury brand? The first beauty brand that sees you.

These are the questions that clients are posing to it and this is where it’s helping them with its years of experience and very high levels of strategy and creativity, as well as digital expertise being at the heart of the agency.

Its competitive set may be Pentagram, Interbrand, R/GA, McKinsey, Frogg and Ideo; it has many competitors.

A really refreshing view of the industry and working with brands at a deep level.

Havas

Our final stop for the day was with this network agency, which is telling their story better and better each time we see them. We were shown a photo of Bill Bernbach from the ‘50s telling us that “[b]ad news, advertising is f*cked”, meaning that the industry hasn’t strayed from its premise that everything can always be improved and should be.

Havas has been winning business in the past few years, focusing on three factors:

  • From creative to creator
  • Leveraging the Havas Village concept
  • Entertainment within advertising

Havas sees itself as the “smallest big agency” and is committed to breaking down barriers in the world of marketing.


Key words and phrases during this summit

As always, we are taking note of the words that are being said most frequently:

  • Storytelling
  • Narrative
  • Agile
  • The holding company model is broken

Five agency visits on Thursday, so more highlights to come.

And, so, to bed.

See also

 

Johanna McDowellJohanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) is managing director of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), which is partnered with the AAR Group in the UK. She is one of the few experts driving this mediation and advisory service in SA and globally. Twice a year she attends AdForum Worldwide Summits as an international consultant, which helps her lead the SA advertising industry forward, keep in line with international trends and remain competitive. Johanna also runs the IAS Marketers Masterclass, a programme consisting of masterclasses held in Cape Town and in Johannesburg.

— One subscription form, three newsletters: sign up now for the MarkLives newsletter, including Ramify headlines; The Interlocker, our new monthly comms-focused mailer; and Brands & Branding, launching soon!

#AdForumSummit: Reinvigoration through PR, gender balance & trends

by admin on May 18, 2018

AdForum Worldwide Summit NYC April 2018

by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) NEW YORK CITY: Day 2 of AdForum Worldwide Summit, 23–27 April 2018, was another very packed day of meetings — seven in total. This time we saw MullenLowe, Project Worldwide, Oath, Kiip, WPP (Mark Read), TBWA and CP+B.

MullenLowe

MullenLowe CEO, Alex Leikikh, gave us an update on the merger of the two agencies, which had happened some three years ago. It has been very successful, and when so many mergers like this fail mainly due to culture and ego clashes, MullenLowe can be very pleased with what it has achieved. It has been named the most-effective agency network for seven consecutive years —quite an accolade.

The agency shared some significant statistics with us: 253 new business wins across the network over the past three years; 25 new offices; the acquisition of Salt PR, giving it 12 PR dots on the global map; 456 effectiveness and creative awards; and 86 office dogs! What has been particularly successful for it is its hyperbundling concept, especially with its Media Hub. It has won some significant media business in pitches against the traditional media agencies. It certainly intends to become best in class in media, along with its creative excellence. The intention is to become the media shop for challenger brands.

The PR network, MullenLowe Comms and Salt PR, has added a new dimension to the network; I know from our SCOPEN research that more and more clients are seeing PR as an integral part of the agency mix and they expect to see it as part of an integrated offering.

[Full disclosure: Scopen Global and Mazole Holdings (the company that owns IAS 100%) have formed a company in South Africa called Scopen Africa. Scopen Global holds the majority of the shares; Mazole is a minority shareholder. Johanna McDowell is a director of Scopen Africa, as is Cesar Vacchiano, Global CEO of Scopen.]

Activations are also part of the integrated offering, with 350 people directly working in this area across 16 offices.

MullenLowe Profero is leading the way in experience-led digital and “creating moments through unfair advantage” in the use of data and content.

Leikikh wrapped up the comprehensive session with the following comment, “Creativity will be the last legal means of differentiation.” A wise remark, indeed.

Project Worldwide

This network of agencies operates mainly in the activation and event space, with a strong emphasis on music and technology. Its case study revolved around the forthcoming three-year tour planned by Sir Elton John (it will be his last) and the use of virtual reality (VR) tech, which it employed to good use for the press conference announcing the tour. This took place in several different locations, all simultaneously, through the use of augmented reality (AR) and VR tech.

We all had chance to experience the technology, which included original footage of Sir John’s performances updated with newly created motion tech that allows viewers to recall memories of early performances by him and allows newer younger audiences to understand his music. His manager was part of the session, and shared insights and experiences of what happened during the creative process.

Project Worldwide will, no doubt, continue to work with the Elton John team over the next few years, ensuring that new footage is also captured for future uses.

Oath

Next we met digital prophet, David Shing, who shared all sorts of future predictions about brands and tech, and data and geo location, as well as trends in culture. This was a highly energised session with fast-moving commentary, and magnificent and relevant slides. A session for us all to think about.

Kiip

Kiip (pronounced KEEP) is a mobile app that allows brands to engage with consumers during moments when they are the most-attentive and using their apps. Founder and CEO, Brian Wong, now 27, started the company at age 19 with three partners. He now has 150m users. Wong talked about blockchain, bitcoins and the proximity of tech — in our bodies eventually. A very inspiring and informative session.

WPP — Mark Read

Newly appointed joint COO of WPP, Mark Read, came to talk to us re the recent changes at WPP. He shared as much as he could with us (a separate report on this to follow). Essentially the message is “business as usual” but perhaps with a more-radical approach to growth.

TBWA

One of the day’s highlights was a full report back from the TBWA collective — proudly NOT a network. It’s been three and a half years since global CEO, Troy Ruhanen, took over and the achievements are significant. He has particularly focused on getting the gender balance right, highlighting that, when he took over, only three of the 35 country CEOs were women. Since then, the number of female CEOs is up by 15%, female CSOs by 28% and female creative directors up by 29%.

Ever-restless, TBWA is looking to continuously improve these figures to gain the balance that it wants in the collective — eight of the women leaders conducted the presentations to us, making a strong statement regarding the determination of TBWA to correct the imbalances of the past. 12 000 people — not 97 offices — they bring the people together on the projects and clients as they are needed; assemblage is the process.

The highly innovative Backs\ash technology platform. which provides daily news at the speed of culture, now has 320 spotters across the world. This has evolved into an important tool for both clients and agency over the three years since it was created.

A very impressive session and definitely an agency that has already reinvented itself.

CP+B (Crispin Porter + Bogusky)

This is an agency also reinventing itself, with a new top team and some impressive work in the past 18 months after a period of relative quiet for an agency that was once one of the star creative agencies in the world. Its ethos is still “[t]o create the most talked-about, outrageously effective work in the world” and it couldn’t care less about any of the other jargon that normally accompanies agency methods, intentions etc.

Clients are at the centre of everything it does and offices are now in Los Angeles, London, Copenhagen, Beijing and São Paulo, with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado.

A very experienced top creative team and a new approach, with some great case studies for Domino’s Pizza, Carlsberg Liverpool beer, and Amazon streaming. Great insights and great fun.

An early start tomorrow with five agency visits, starting at 7.15 am.

And, so, to bed.

See also

 

Johanna McDowellJohanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) is managing director of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), which is partnered with the AAR Group in the UK. She is one of the few experts driving this mediation and advisory service in SA and globally. Twice a year she attends AdForum Worldwide Summits as an international consultant, which helps her lead the SA advertising industry forward, keep in line with international trends and remain competitive. Johanna also runs the IAS Marketers Masterclass, a programme consisting of masterclasses held in Cape Town and in Johannesburg.

— One subscription form, three newsletters: sign up now for the MarkLives newsletter, including Ramify headlines; The Interlocker, our new monthly comms-focused mailer; and Brands & Branding, launching soon!

#AdForumSummit Day 1: Pitches now happen in-house at DDB

by admin on May 18, 2018

AdForum Worldwide Summit NYC April 2018

by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) NEW YORK CITY: Just over 30 global pitch consultants set out on Monday morning, 23 April 2018 for meetings with a total of six agencies. The first session of the Spring AdForum Worldwide Summit, 23–27 April 2018, started at 8.15 am and the final one finished at 21.45 pm. We were fed and watered all day, and transported by coach all around New York —a fantastic experience that I never get tired of.

DDB

DDB was first up and it’s fascinating to see how a leadership change in the past 18 months has changed the way that this agency presents itself. We were taken into the middle of the agency and tables were set up for us to work from, and that is where the presentation took place. No more dark boardrooms or mini cinemas. It was very refreshing and apparently the way that the agency conducts most of its presentations these days, including new business pitches.

Led by global CEO, Wendy Clark, the content and principles within the presentation were clear and concise. Some highly creative, results-driven case studies for McDonalds’ (International Women’s Day), Skittles, Marmite and Joh Lewis were shown to us. Inspiring work with excellent returns on investment.

We learnt more about the cross-capabilities teams that have been set up to work on clients. These teams include other agency partners, media partners and marketing partners; it all depends on what is needed for that client. It has built several of these teams across the business in order to deliver the service that its clients require and can connect with.

DDB certainly set a very high bar for the rest of this summit.

GREY

GREY was next with global CEO, Michael Houston, and his team telling us about their approach and how they are breaking down barriers, re-thinking creativity and how GREY New York is investing 75% of its resources into creativity. The consumer is at the centre of everything that they do. The investment is going into various aspects of creative talent, especially in the area of production (they call it best sourcing). With offices in 96 countries, 154 cities and 5000 employees, GREY is still one of the smaller networks in the world and it has flattened its structures in order to ensure that clients have access to the broadest, most-diverse creative minds.

Work & Co

Work & Co is a digital agency that defines, designs and launches digital products. An independent agency with six offices, it involve its clients as early as possible in the design process of products such as mobile apps, websites, ecommerce platforms, in-store digital tech, digital kiosks and bots. Ninety percent of its business is repeat, with clients as long-term partners and the agency focusing on continuous optimisation.

You & Mr Jones

David Jones gave us an account of what has been happening with the company in the last few years since we saw it. It is firmly in the sector where brands and tech meet, and this has been a very successful positioning with many large investments in various businesses that deliver content, marketing solutions, data. This is not, and never will be, an advertising agency or holding company of the typical kind that we’ve been used to in recent years.

SS&K

Part of the M&C Saatchi network, SS&K is an agency that has a track record of political and cause-related advertising but which is equally comfortable with typical consumer brands. It’s an agency that wants clients who want to make a change, who are ambitious.

VIRTUE

Born out of VICE in 2013, the agency has grown all over the globe, including a small presence in Johannesburg and Nairobi most recently. It has strong creative and production capabilities, a full data-analytics team and an impressive list of clients. The agency is hungry for more pitches — that was its message to us as pitch consultants. One of its clients (from PARK MGM) was present and told us what it was like to work with the agency and the successes that they had achieved together as a team. A fresh approach at the end of a long day — just what we needed.

And, so, to bed.

Seven agencies to meet on Day 2. More tomorrow.

See also

 

Johanna McDowellJohanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) is managing director of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), which is partnered with the AAR Group in the UK. She is one of the few experts driving this mediation and advisory service in SA and globally. Twice a year she attends AdForum Worldwide Summits as an international consultant, which helps her lead the SA advertising industry forward, keep in line with international trends and remain competitive. Johanna also runs the IAS Marketers Masterclass, a programme consisting of masterclasses held in Cape Town and in Johannesburg.

— One subscription form, three newsletters: sign up now for the MarkLives newsletter, including Ramify headlines; The Interlocker, our new monthly comms-focused mailer; and Brands & Branding, launching soon!

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