Agency holding companies consolidating agencies
By Steve Schneider, Executive Managing Director Cushman Wakefield Chicago The television series Mad Men portrayed the “golden age” of advertising, but frankly Don Draper would be lost in a contemporary agency.
The transformative changes witnessed within the past few decades have impacted client services, location decisions, space usage, recruitment, and ultimately the final product delivered to the client. General agencies created thirty-second television spots that ran on a handful of networks, crafted complementary print advertisements for a massive magazine and newspaper readership, and supplemented the campaign with direct mail from a below-the-line-agency. Or, as John Wannamaker famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” As the leading agencies consolidated under the umbrellas of holding companies, additional services such as public relations were added to the offering.
Each agency within a holding company typically retained its own brand, leased its own space and shared services either gently nudged initially or later, demanded to by the holding companies themselves.