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July 23, 2015
Is There an Upside to the AdLand Shakeup?
 
The news coming out of AdLand continues to get more interesting. As more account reviews are added to the list, like Subway, and big-time art directors, CCOs, and partners are leaving firms like MDC, BBDO, and R/GA, AdLand is facing some uncertainty, to say the least.

And for the big agencies that are held accountable to shareholders, the earnings reports have to go against the news in order to continue to win favor, or else we are bound to see more change.

Now, it is human nature to fear change; change is one of those unknowns, and we want to have total control of the outcome of the change, but since we can’t, it’s scary to us.

Could this be the start of the change AdLand needs in order to outright prove relevancy and value?

Can good come from this?

We think so. If we look at AdLand as mircoeconomy, we can see that the moves in consolidation, independent agency growth, client-side growth, and decline are all cyclical. Though the dollar worth of media in the balance is larger than we’d imagine, these holding companies going up to fight for them are some of the largest advertising groups the industry has ever seen.

For real change, though, we wish there were more players in the arena. Yes, the shrinking of players at the top has really, in our opinion, hurt the thought diversity that brands really used to treasure. And it’s not the entire fault of the holding companies, for brands demanded so many resources from a single source that many indie agencies had to either move on or face being gobbled up in order to win the business.

Brands, you are Frankenstein, and now you are demanding your monster do business in a different way. How fascinating.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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