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Advertising Roundup: Media Reviews in the News

Written by: Juliana Casale, Director of Marketing

The advertising world is experiencing a massive shakeup this year – one that has many agencies scrambling to retain big-ticket customers and simultaneously pitch to a rapidly growing pool of prospects (representing a whopping $20 billion in marketing dollars). In the words of Rob Horler, the US CEO of Dentsu Aegis: “It is unprecedented; I’ve never seen anything like it.” From household products to household names in entertainment, marketing’s biggest spenders are putting their media business in review. The chart below is a veritable who’s who of international brands with huge spending power:

Media reviews - agency shakeup

Numerous media outlets have covered the potential reasons why brands may be calling their agencies into question. Here are just a few:

Business Insider: The Unprecedented Trend of Media Agency Reviews

Ad Age: Rare Wave of Media Reviews Partly Driven By Rebate Debate

Digiday: For Best Buy, the Move Away From An Agency Model (And a Case of Deja Vu)

The reasons behind this mass exodus – which AdWeek has dubbed “Mediapalooza 2015” – are very similar to the benefits customers seek from in-house advertising; namely:


Marketing – often a fast-paced ecosystem – has accelerated recently, leaving a lot of brands questioning whether they’re still at the forefront of trends. As television advertising budgets shift to mobile and video, programmatic media buying takes center stage, and consumers increase cross-channel behavior, agencies are scrambling to keep up.


In March, former Mediacom CEO Jon Mandel raised the issue of agency “kickbacks” at the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Forum. He alleged that agencies let rebates sway their choice of media companies to place ads with, and that this practice is far more widespread than anyone thought. A lack of trust can make it hard for brands to believe that an agency has their best interest at heart.


Businesses are always going to look for the best deals when it comes to cost, and if there’s a faster, more innovative way to drive sales, brands are wise to look into all the options. For some, skipping over the middleman markup by taking advertising in-house could be the wisest course of action.

Understanding how to target customers as they adopt new channels, and being able to unite brand experiences across TV, social and email will remain a priority for marketers looking to maximize revenue in 2015.

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