Oh, But Wait! Now It's Dallas That Thinks It's the Center Of The Ad World

While adam&eveDDB CEO James Murphy is high on London and believes it's truly the ad capital of the world, a couple of ads guys in Dallas want to be heard as well. Integer Group ECD Will Clarke and Marketing Arm Chief Strategy Officer Chris Smith were Promo and Activation judges at Cannes Lions last week, and said they surprised more than a few with their presence. Smith said, “it’s fun to see the industry’s shock that there are actually some great agencies in the flyover states. The advent of digital, social and mobile has helped agencies like the Marketing Arm have a seat at the big table normally reserved for the big traditional guys.” Clarke added, “It says a lot about Dallas’ impact and importance to the U.S. advertising community. Chris is a great guy. It was nice to have someone who spoke Texan.” But let's be honest. Is there really an ad capital any longer? The landscape has changed so much since the Mad Men era that location has become irrelevant.

WPP, so happy to still be the world's largest ad agency, is gleefully reporting a 1.2% increase in revenue for the first five months of 2014. Revenue was up to 4.425 billion British Pounds, although in dollars that translates to a 9.5% gain to $7.37 billion. Like-for-like sales, which eliminates acquisitions and currency fluctuations, increased 7.6%. Net sales were up 4% compared to 3.8% for Q1 2014 and 4.4% for Q4 2013. Of the increases, a company statement read, “Operating profit is above budget and well ahead of last year and the increase in the gross margin or net sales margin is in line with the group’s full year target of a 0.3 margin point improvement on a constant currency basis." The UK contributed nicely to these increases with a 7% like-for-like increase in sales.

Economics guru Dr. Joe Webb has taken another look at the ad world; this time examining the dichotomy between the continued increase in ad agency revenue and the corresponding decline in revenue for publishers. Even in a world where content marketing is being trumpeted as the newest new new thing, publishers aren't benefiting. Explaining the change, Webb writes: "Agencies are now active in social media and less active in other formats that require the purchase of time (broadcast) or space (print ads, billboards). They are more active in finding sponsorships of events, and in the staging of events, especially online. Social media requires constant engagement with the audience, and agencies provide the personnel that assume those responsibilities on behalf of their clients." Couple that with the fact that many brands, themselves, are becoming publishers in their own right and things look quite bleak for the media. And poster child Native Advertising doesn't seem to be making much of a dent.

Moroch Partners announced the appointment of Sam Chadha as the agency’s first Chief Integration Officer, along with Glenn Geller as Managing Partner of Brand Planning Strategy and Dina Light-McNeely as Director of Digital & Social Strategy to its senior leadership team. Prior to Moroch, Chadha was EVP, Managing Director of Business Strategy and Development at Starcom MediaVest Group in Chicago. Geller brings 30 years of industry experience to Moroch, most notably as the EVP Director of Planning and Research at Boznell/Temerlin McClain for almost two decades. Light-McNeely has held a strategic leadership role on IMC2’s pharmaceutical and retail clients, served as EVP of Digital Strategy for Rosie Pope and most recently worked as VP, Strategy Solutions Lead at RAPP.
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