Newsbreak: Agencies Showcase Shifts in Thinking at CEO Summit hosted by AdForum

By Deborah Malone – The Internationalist

Pictured here are:Paul Philips, AAR (UK); Avi Dan, Avidan Strategies (US); Herve de Clerck, AdForum; Philippe Paget, AdForum; Loula Zaklama, Rada (Egypt) and Bernard Petit, Scan International (France)

This week's activities in New York underscore two distinct trends now occurring at the core of the advertising business.

  1. Advertising agencies -- whether global networks, creative boutiques, or specialist shops for digital strategy or media solutions -- are indeed changing the way they think about marketing in a recently re-set economic world where our digital age has re-shaped consumer behavior.

  2. Agency Search Consultants now play a greater role in influencing how global marketers allocate their budgets across an expanding mosaic of agency services.

The 9th Annual CEO Summit is taking place this week throughout New York City, organized by AdForum, the online marketing resource company that serves the creative information needs of advertisers and agencies around the globe. Ad leaders from Madison Avenue to Downtown Manhattan and from New York’s far Westside to the up-and-coming streets of Brooklyn are hosting 30+ agency management and search companies from four continents. These consultants represent more than 530 agency searches each year or the equivalent of $9 billion in billings from marketers around the globe looking to find agencies with the right chemistry for their needs.

While all agencies take new business very seriously, they now recognize the importance of communicating how they have adopted new strategies. For example, Miles Young, CEO of Ogilvy Worldwide shared how marketers today "don't want to just see creative work; they want data capability." This was critical to Ogilvy’s recent UPS win, which resulted in the "Logistics" campaign. According to Young, "UPS was as delighted with the live, real time UPS dashboard as they were with the creative work. These statistics were like giving them the Holy Grail."

David Droga, Creative Chairman of Droga 5, the award-winning independent agency, shared how today it was important to be "creatively led, strategically driven, tech-friendly and humanity-obsessed." He added that now it is "about points of excellence, not points of difference. We simply have to make a client’s business better."

Jim Heekin, the CEO of Grey Global Group, shared how the company's new concept of being "famously effective" catapulted the agency to a new level of winning creativity with accounts like E*Trade, Pantene, Cialis and Captain Morgan.

Despite the popularity of TV’s Madmen that glorifies the beginnings of advertising in a simpler -- if not more elegant -- consumer era, today's agencies are unquestionably finding new ways to hone their best skills and drive results for clients. Yet many global marketers are finding that their best insurance in making the right agency decisions in today's complex and specialized world is working with consultants who help them navigate the choices. AdForum's CEO Summit continues through Thursday in an effort to share more visions, discover new strategies and uncover the next future trends.
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