Partner or supplier: an examination of client/agency relationships in an IMC context

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

There is growing evidence from practitioners that the advertising industry is in a state of crisis. 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 appreciate the changing landscape and how the customer experience is now key. Both sides recognise the need for more trust and collaboration. This study applies the agency theory and the social power theory to understand the pressures that the relationship is under. It looks for evidence that IMC is creating a movement away from a business alliance relationship by comparing qualitative data collected from both agencies and clients, using NVivo to identify themes. The findings identify four themes which illustrate this shift towards a supplier relationship: the client ownership of the customer journey, the lack of a strategic role of agencies, the challenges of agency collaboration and difficulties of agency specialisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
Early online date23 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Oct 2017

Fingerprint

Suppliers
Agency relationship
Supplier relationships
Social power
Industry
Ownership
Advertising agencies
Alliances
Qualitative data
Integrated
Agency theory
Customer experience

Keywords

  • Advertising
  • agencies
  • agency theory
  • clients
  • integrated marketing communications
  • social power theory

Cite this

@article{638caac2e2bf4c68a00bd8358b8d0809,
title = "Partner or supplier: an examination of client/agency relationships in an IMC context",
abstract = "There is growing evidence from practitioners that the advertising industry is in a state of crisis. 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 appreciate the changing landscape and how the customer experience is now key. Both sides recognise the need for more trust and collaboration. This study applies the agency theory and the social power theory to understand the pressures that the relationship is under. It looks for evidence that IMC is creating a movement away from a business alliance relationship by comparing qualitative data collected from both agencies and clients, using NVivo to identify themes. The findings identify four themes which illustrate this shift towards a supplier relationship: the client ownership of the customer journey, the lack of a strategic role of agencies, the challenges of agency collaboration and difficulties of agency specialisation.",
keywords = "Advertising, agencies, agency theory, clients, integrated marketing communications, social power theory",
author = "Kathleen Mortimer and Sally Laurie",
year = "2017",
month = "10",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1080/13527266.2017.1391861",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Marketing Communications",
issn = "1352-7266",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Partner or supplier: an examination of client/agency relationships in an IMC context

AU - Mortimer, Kathleen

AU - Laurie, Sally

PY - 2017/10/23

Y1 - 2017/10/23

N2 - There is growing evidence from practitioners that the advertising industry is in a state of crisis. 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 appreciate the changing landscape and how the customer experience is now key. Both sides recognise the need for more trust and collaboration. This study applies the agency theory and the social power theory to understand the pressures that the relationship is under. It looks for evidence that IMC is creating a movement away from a business alliance relationship by comparing qualitative data collected from both agencies and clients, using NVivo to identify themes. The findings identify four themes which illustrate this shift towards a supplier relationship: the client ownership of the customer journey, the lack of a strategic role of agencies, the challenges of agency collaboration and difficulties of agency specialisation.

AB - There is growing evidence from practitioners that the advertising industry is in a state of crisis. 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 appreciate the changing landscape and how the customer experience is now key. Both sides recognise the need for more trust and collaboration. This study applies the agency theory and the social power theory to understand the pressures that the relationship is under. It looks for evidence that IMC is creating a movement away from a business alliance relationship by comparing qualitative data collected from both agencies and clients, using NVivo to identify themes. The findings identify four themes which illustrate this shift towards a supplier relationship: the client ownership of the customer journey, the lack of a strategic role of agencies, the challenges of agency collaboration and difficulties of agency specialisation.

KW - Advertising

KW - agencies

KW - agency theory

KW - clients

KW - integrated marketing communications

KW - social power theory

U2 - 10.1080/13527266.2017.1391861

DO - 10.1080/13527266.2017.1391861

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Marketing Communications

JF - Journal of Marketing Communications

SN - 1352-7266

ER -