In March, JWT CEO Tamara Ingram wrote an all-staff memo to announce that she and other leaders were “reimagining the future” of the world’s oldest ad agency. Its key take-away: This future would not include global chief creative officer Matt Eastwood or anyone else holding that title.
Every day brings new reports of brands building in-house shops, creative account wins shrinking and top talent following Apple’s Tor Myhren to the client side. But there may be no greater symbol of the intense pressures now facing such “traditional” agencies than a debate over the relevance of the one job most unique to the ad industry.
In short, agencies—especially those owned by publicly traded holding groups—are struggling to justify the salaries of their most visible talent.