Sorrell says agencies should offer more strategy

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[Seoul] The advertising/marketing services industry needs to adapt its organizational structure and to offer clients more strategic thinking if it is to adapt to an increasingly competitive global marketplace, WPP Group Chief Executive Martin Sorrell told delegates attending the 35th IAA World Advertising Congress meeting in Korea.

Despite the advertising industry's image of young staff churning out creative ideas, in terms of management structure the advertising/marketing services industry is more conservative than lawyers and bankers, Mr. Sorrell told some of the 2,400 delegates attending the conference, which started June 10.

Agencies tend to be organized geographically and by function such as direct marketing, creative and media planning. Although clients have gone through major structural changes, the agencies haven't adapted to meet client's needs.

The West can look to the emerging or what Mr. Sorrell calls "fast growing markets" for more flexible management models. "In Thailand, the Philippines and Argentina I have seen some of the most radical experiments in how agencies operate," Mr. Sorrell says. Some agencies in these markets are more "client driven" and have a more horizontal management structure," he says.

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