Three Takeaways from Today’s Wall Street Journal Article on Agencies Battling It Out for Social Media

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The Wall Street Journal‘s Suzanne Vranica published a story today on the battle for social media budgets between agencies that is getting the attention of all digital marketing types. Setting the stage, Vranica wrote:

As more and more advertising dollars flow into social media, some Madison Avenue firms are seeking to grab a piece of the action. But it will be a tough fight as the space is overrun with companies seeking to own the segment, from start-ups to public-relations firms.

Here are some of our takeaways from the story.


1) The big advertising firms have good PR.

Both Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann and Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi were prominently mentioned for launching or planning to launch social media offerings. The fact that these agencies would get press for something many other large and small agencies with both PR and advertising heritages have had for quite some time is interesting.

From a trade reporter’s perspective at least, “Agency Launches Social Media Offering” doesn’t seem to be too newsworthy. Perhaps the mention is due to the size of the agency’s and the caliber of talent they’re bringing on or looking to bring on.

That being said, if these large agencies are just launching social offerings now, it could be argued that what they had before, wasn’t exactly social media, at least not in the perspective of Vranica’s report. Either that, or the agencies haven’t officially branded it or formally rolled it out.

2) Microsoft is looking.

Vranica had a little scoop with this nugget of information:

Microsoft Corp. is currently searching for a social-media firm to handle duties for its Xbox videogame system, work that is now handled by several of Xbox’s agencies, according to people familiar with the matter.

Expect that to be a very competitive pitch.

3) Tell us what we already know.

Sean Corcoran of Forrester Research told Vranica like it is, except most people in the space should already know this:

You can’t walk out your house without bumping into a social-media expert today…The reality is the space is still very much a Wild West.

What did you think of the story?