The Integration Challenge: getting clients and agencies to work together

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


There is growing evidence in the advertising industry that as campaigns become more integrated and multi-disciplinary, the relationship between advertising agencies and clients is being tested to its limits and is presently considered to be at an all time low. Agencies feel less valued and are being excluded from C-suite discussion. Clients feel that agencies do not understand how the world has changed and how the customer experience is now key. This study applies the agency theory and the social power theory to understand the pressures that the relationship is under. It looks for evidence of this rift by examining qualitative data collected from both agencies and clients, using NVivo to identify themes and areas of concern. The findings identify four themes that are creating conflict: the ownership of the customer journey, the strategic role of agencies, the challenges of agency collaboration and difficulties of agency specialisation. Both parties identify the need to rebuild trust and enable agencies to contribute at a more strategic level instead of being seen as suppliers but present remuneration structures and collaborative processes are hindering progress.
Period6 Jul 2016
Event titleThe Academy of Marketing 2016 Conference
Event typeConference
LocationNewcastle, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • IMC
  • Marketing communications
  • Advertising agencies