WFA tracks the march of in-house agencies

In-house creative agencies are on the rise it seems, according to a new survey of 53 advertisers spending a combined $83bn on advertising according to the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA.) 57% now have in-house creative resources, 74% formed in the last five years.

External agencies shouldn’t give up hope yet though, 95% continue to work with external agencies although 37% of their creative output is now handled in-house. Most of this is digital. Half the clients surveyed have in-house media operations.

The survey – Global Trends in Creative In-Housing carried out with Observatory International – reports that clients believe moving creative work in-house is delivering cost efficiencies (greater than 30% in some instances), better integration (64%) and increased brand and business knowledge (59%). 55 per cent also reported that in-house teams had quicker and more agile processes.

Despite the widespread assumption that advertisers could struggle to attract high quality talent, respondents reported an average staff turnover of just nine per cent. Most such teams (74%) have been set up in the last five years, so, WFA says, it may be that their relative youth contributes to this stability.

WFA CEO Stephan Loerke says: “What this survey highlights is the need for clearly defined roles and responsibilities as well as a clarity over scope of work for each agency, in-house and external. Having an imbalance in working processes creates problems and challenges that could mean that neither resource is used to maximum capability.”

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