How a well-connected, fully independent agency can benefit you

Even experienced marketers are sometimes unaware of how concentrated the ownership of the advertising and media sector has become over recent decades – both in Australia and abroad.

A small number of holding companies controls almost all the agency brands you’re most familiar with. And while they have some amazing talent in their teams, they work to rules established in London, Paris, New York or Tokyo that focus on shareholder value as a priority.

Multinational agencies lack the decision-making power of local business owners responding to local market conditions. The heads of your multinational’s local arm are salaried employees. Their career prospects are aligned to their ability to deliver profits to head office – a goal that may or may not be aligned with your brand’s best interests. By contrast, independent owners can recommend bold strategies to clients in their local marketplace even if it means sacrificing immediate profit for longer term gain.

Multinationals also deal with issues of client conflict more often – and not just in your local market. A holding company that has a major telco in a region may pitch and win another, separating the two accounts with walls. This structure may only avoid the appearance of conflict, not the conflict itself.

Perhaps the biggest issue with multinationals though is that they suffer from uniformity of culture and ideology. Multinational boards must pacify an array of stakeholders – governments, NGOs, activist shareholders etc. – in the holding company’s country. This can give their various agencies a uniformity of style that tends to make your brand blend in, rather than stand out.

The AMIN Worldwide Network

In 1932, a group of US-based independent agencies formed the AMIN network to provide members with the economies of scale and knowledge sharing to match their listed competitors. That network is now called AMIN Worldwide and comprises 58 agency brands through 101 offices in 27 countries. Each agency is 100% independently owned.

We became the founding AMIN APAC member in 2015 and have built a regional presence covering Australia and New Zealand, China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Partly in recognition of the importance of the Asia Pacific as a growth driver for the global economy, our Agency Principal Phil Huzzard was last year elected as the President of the AMIN Worldwide Global Board. Phil’s agenda for his two-year Presidential term prioritises governance, skills development, and best practice through every level of AMIN member agencies, not just agency leaders.

Progressing together

In tangible terms, this means AMIN Worldwide members already have their AI governance policies established and will have a window on the test cases that will determine how AI can and will be applied in future. It means that, as global privacy law is shaped in Europe, we have a window on its potential impact here. It means that the members who’ve built centres-of-excellence in key areas of our industry share their knowledge with other members while still competing in an increasingly global marketplace. And it means that every client of every AMIN Worldwide agency can reach international markets with global scale and intimate local knowledge.

But while these priorities cross a vast array of strategic, creative and delivery issues, every part of the AMIN Worldwide strategy is focused on helping members to excel for their clients – to be more creative, more cost-effective, better prepared to win for them, not parent company shareholders.

Ready to discover how DPR&Co's independence can make a difference for you? Get in touch.

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