Talk about coming full circle. Ad agencies have long been unbundling their various offerings, separating media planning/buying and specialist communications out of their mainstream agencies into separate units, in a bid to offer focused solutions for their clients’ brands. As the media fragments, we now see various forms of ‘re-bundling’ or re-aligning emerging as the next big model for agencies.
Publicis Groupe recently unveiled a full-service agency/model called Insight Factory, which will tap offerings from its mainstream agency brand Leo Burnett, media specialist Starcom MediaVest Group and digital specialist Digitas. They say this is not an effort to rebundle services, but to allow for fluid collaboration across companies.
The Havas Group (holding company for Euro RSCG Worldwide, Media Planning Group) is pushing to become an even stronger integrated communications network, with the simpler mission of integrating one ad network with a single media communications group. And Craig Davis, creative chief of JWT Worldwide, says its model, which will aggregate services—whether they are part of WPP Group or external (presumably, services from outside the holding company)—should launch next year. It may or may not involve a new agency, though it promises a new workflow.
Some media specialists have been attempting their own brand of ‘re-bundling’, adding digital and specialist communications, and almost becoming full-service agencies themselves. Meanwhile, Interpublic Group (IPG) disbanded its Interpublic Media unit overseas, which sheltered media specialists Initiative, Universal McCann (UM) and Magna Global—the intent being to ‘realign’ (not re-bundle) Initiative and UM with IPG creative agencies, while they retain financial independence. IPG is now looking at driving deeper efficiences across media units. “Media is an increasingly strategic part of our overall offering and an important component of the creative product, yet most marketing services providers deliver an unbundled, often siloed, media product,” said IPG CEO Michael Roth, in a media statement at that time. Re-bundling promises clients the time- and cost-saving synergies of one-stop shopping. Tighter integrated marketing solutions could also bridge the disconnect between media and creative. But, clients should see value in rebundling, to their brands and business.
Marion Arathoon is Mint’s advertising editor. Your feedback is welcome at email@example.com