Media agency execs speak out against ‘rebundling’

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Orlando, Fla.—A half-dozen top media agency executives put the ongoing debate of a creative-media agency rebundling in no uncertain terms Thursday at the American Association of Advertising Agencies annual media conference: no way.

Reacting to the increasingly frequent lament from creative agencies that the unbundling of media services over the past several years has led them to lose strategic ground, Publicis Groupe Media CEO Jack Klues dismissed a return to “the full-service model of 1980,” reported. is a sibling Web site of

“The conversation about rebundling doesn’t make much sense to me,” said Klues, whose group includes Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia. “You’re not going to see us become the media department of a full-service agency.”

David Verklin, CEO of Aegis Group’s Carat Americas, said he imagines a day when creative agencies are “powered by” media networks.

The issue of whether ad and media agencies should somehow be yoked back together—especially as media fragmentation has increased and made the job of media strategy that much more integral—has been a popular topic of conversation at the Four A’s conference.

Another hot issue has been the integration of stand-alone interactive offerings into more traditional account teams. Irwin Gotlieb, global CEO of WPP Group’s Group M media arm, said that integration is part of an evolution that happens with “the advent of any new category of media.”

“At first, you keep a specialty offering separate. You overresource it, develop it and then you integrate it and spread it throughout the organization,” Gotlieb said.

—Matthew Creamer

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