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AdWeek’s 2019 Agency Outlook – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
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AdWeek’s 2019 Agency Outlook

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It’s that time of year again when we start to look back at the past twelve months and make bold predictions about what’s to come next year.  Accordingly, AdWeek has published its Good, Bad & Ugly predictions for ad agencies in 2019.  Here’s a quick summary of where they think the industry is headed:

  • The Good: In 2018 brands and agencies found their social voices through marketing campaigns. Wieden+Kennedy’s “Stand For Something” Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick was the best example of this.  In 2019 expect agency creative teams to tap into this sentiment as more brands make social cause statements through their marketing.
  • The Bad: Agencies will continue to be disintermediated by a combination of factors, including automation and client in-housing. This will put more pressure than ever on agencies to define their value to clients and justify the fees they charge.
  • The Ugly: Agency transparency is still an elusive thing.  Clients complain that they have little visibility into agency billings and margins, which creates a fundamental distrust between the two parties.  Then there’s the exodus of senior agency leaders (usually men), who abruptly leave their positions with no explanation for their departures.  This lack of transparency has led to speculation about personal misconduct, which can be both distracting and demoralizing for the rest of the agency.

It’ll be interesting to look back on these predictions twelve months from now to see how each played out.


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