Under increasing client pressure, advertising agencies have been forced to consider emerging digital media as a serious player in the marketing mix. Marketing.fm has been following Madison Avenue’s reaction to new technology as agencies struggle to embrace and acquiesce their clients’ demands.

Universal McCann recently announced that the McCann Interactive division would be responsible for all emerging digital media. As reported by ClickZ, David Cohen, Director of Digital Communications at Universal McCann said:

We’re in the process of transition as an industry, so there’s still…a need for a specialist group to handle digital media…It’s a matter of maturity. We’re finding more and more that clients are setting aside a test-and-learn budget. It’s pretty much de rigeur for 2006.

As agencies slowly embrace new mediums, they must strive to preserve integrated marketing capabilities – or rather prevent dis-integrated marketing. For example, one must avoid any fragmentation that could ultimately hurt the marketing of a brand. It would be detrimental for separate entities within an agency to fight over profits. Let’s face it – the departments need commission to justify their staff, salaries and existence.

How is a media planner at McCann (or any other agency) going to allocate a significant portion of a clients’ budget to another department without receiving commission?

The mid-level managers and SVP’s making these decisions will want to keep a large portion in their control (rather than donating a large sum to Denuo or McCann Interactive).

One might argue that this is a major obstacle preventing agencies from delivering fully integrated media capabilities. Agencies of the future will need to be flexible, nimble and encouraging when it comes to embracing new opportunities for their clients. Otherwise, dis-inegrated marketing will prevail.

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Saatchi & Saatchi Reacts to New Media

The End of the Big Advertising Agency

[tags] madison avenue, advertising, advertising agency, ad agency, universal McCann, Denuo, Denuo Group, marketing.fm, integrated marketing, dis-integrated marketing, new media, emerging media, digital media, media, saatchi, saatchi & saatchi [/tags]