Agencies Punch Back At Consultancies
Over the past few years Business Consultancies like Accenture and Deloitte have beefed up their marketing services portfolios to compete with traditional agencies for client AOR work. Their pitch seems alluring to brands, because as one client insider put it, “If they come from Accenture they must be geniuses.” As a result, clients have started to give more and more marketing work to consultancies at the expense of agencies.
Now it looks like the agencies and their Holding Company parents may have found a way to counterattack the consultants. Recently WPP and Omnicom have announced their refusal to participate in upcoming media audits which are led by consultancies who also offer media services. Their rationale for the move is pretty savvy. By pointing out that the consultants have a vested interest in negatively slanting the audit (against the agencies) to open the door for an account review (which can benefit the consultancies), they’re highlighting an inherent conflict of interest. As a result clients are starting to require consultants pick a lane and either do their auditing work or compete for their AOR work, but not allow both.
Will this be the end of the agency-consultancy wars? Not likely. But at least the HoCos are finding their footing in this new battle.