JAA Media’s John Ayling: an invitation to creative agencies

Even in a time like this there are green shoots in adland. Over the past year we’ve all seen an emergence of a number of new creative agencies. This is an important element in the way the creative industry renews and refreshes itself.

John Ayling & Associates was one of the first media independents in the 1970s. The following decade saw the formation of many creative agencies which remain at the centre of the ad business today in various forms. We worked with many of them including BBH; Lowe Howard-Spink, now Mullen Lowe; WCRS, now Engine Group; and one-time Campaign Agency of the Decade HHCL which was eventually absorbed into VCCP. We were also a founder shareholder in PHD, now one of the media agency pillars of Omnicom.

What did we learn from this and how do we apply those lessons today? What can we offer to creative agencies beginning their journey now? Do new creative agencies need a relationship with a media agency?

The answer to the latter is unequivocally, yes. Some media accounts are locked up in global holding companies yet many are not. Often a new creative agency will be asked to pitch and will need a media point-of-view. We can help you.

So what do we offer?

A culture of collaboration. Better collaboration means better advertising outcomes. This was the key lesson that we learned working with creative agencies over the years.

A fluid agency structure unbounded by restrictive holding group structures or specialist silos. This means we are designed to be agile which means we can turn around media strategies and plans swiftly.

A range of audience research tools which can deliver insights that inform the creative strategy as well as the media.

Complete freedom to work with anyone we like. We are totally independent and are not part of any holding group.

The world has moved on since media independents burst onto the scene and the media world is constantly changing. JAA has evolved with these changes and it has been exciting to be a part of this. The industry is now awash with technology and data which provide a wealth of opportunities. however they also create complexity.

The enduring principles of media planning and buying remain the same. The absolute essence is putting the right message in front of the right people at the right cost. Technology and data are critical yet this must be married to professional judgement.

The new wave of independent creative agencies are the lifeblood of our advertising industry. I welcome the opportunity to help them on their journeys. After all, BBH, Lowe, WCRS and PHD didn’t do badly did they?

JAA are delighted to talk to the new generation. Please contact us at John Ayling & Associates.

John Ayling is Founder and Executive Chairman at John Ayling & Associates

About JAA: John Ayling & Associates is the original media independent planning and buying company for businesses that understand that first class media thinking delivers business growth.

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