Adweek’s 25 Most Popular Stories About Agencies in 2017

It was a year of activism, inspiration and controversy

Ad agency BETC Sao Paulo asked artists to create images promoting an app that tracks how often men interrupt women. BETC
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It was a roller-coaster year for the ad agency world, with creative highs and controversial lows. Then there were the ever-changing narratives that veered between both extremes, such as the triumphant success of McCann’s Fearless Girl followed by allegations of hypocrisy as the client’s parent company was found to have underpaid its female employees.

Today, we look back on a year of agency news and perspectives that together illustrate how agencies spent much of 2017 simmering in an emotionally charged stew of existential dread, passionate activism and spirit-lifting storytelling. (But can advertisers even be storytellers? We debated that too.)

Here are the 25 most-read agency stories from in 2017:

25. At 60, Mark Monteiro Is Thriving in the Youth-Centric Ad World by Avoiding the Temptation to Live in the Past

24. How Agencies Are Channeling Their Pre-election Passions Into Trump-Era Political Activism

23. Opinion: Advertising Isn’t Storytelling

22. Inside Wieden + Kennedy’s Evolution Into the Go-to Agency for the New Economy

21. An International Cyberattack Has Disabled WPP’s Computer Network

20. Sweden Just Listed Itself on Airbnb in Its Latest Inspired Tourism Stunt

19. How Las Vegas Is Helping the City Heal With 2 Perfect Lines of Copy

18. Publicis Groupe Is Moving All Agencies Into Shared Offices in Its Major U.S. Cities

17. This Agency Dropped an App on International Women’s Day That Detects When Men Interrupt Women

16. Former Kargo Sales Exec Awarded $40 Million in Arbitration Over Sexual Discrimination, Wrongful Termination

15. Why This Aspiring Copywriter Titled Her Cover Letter ‘Your Agency Hates Black Women’

14. The $3 Billion Account Win That Shook the Media World

13. KFC Wrote a Romance Novel for Mother’s Day, and It’s Uncomfortably Good

12. In a Show of Solidarity With Muslims, Leo Burnett’s Website Now Reads From Right to Left

11. Has Agency Work-Life Balance Reached a Crisis Point?

10. Opinion: Why This Second Grade Handout Should Be Your New Creative Manifesto

9. Agencies Everywhere See Experiential Marketing as the Next Big Thing, and Brands Want In

8. Gillette’s Deeply Touching Film About a Son Helping His Elderly Father Shave Takes Home Cannes Gold

7. $4 Billion U.S. Army Review Has Been ‘Compromised,’ Sources Claim

6. These 12 Agencies Have Masterfully Adapted in an Increasingly Digital Marketplace

5. Publicis Groupe Forbids All of Its Agencies From Participating in Awards Shows in 2018

4. Financial Firm Behind ‘Fearless Girl’ Will Pay $5 Million for Allegedly Underpaying Women and Minorities

3. This Agency Created an Obstacle Course to Show People What It’s Like to Be ‘Black at Work’

2. The Martin Agency Chief Creative Officer Joe Alexander Exited After Multiple Sexual Harassment Complaints, Sources Say

1. Death of an Ogilvy Philippines Employee Sparks Renewed Debate Over Work-Life Balance at Agencies

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."