Marc Pritchard might have said it best: "Frankly, your complexity should not be our problem, so we want you to make that complexity invisible."
Addressing agencies at Ad Age's Digital Conference in April, the Procter & Gamble Global Brand Officer added that "our expectation is that over time, our agency partners, whoever we choose, are going to be able to integrate [all of the workload], so you can get the production out, the distribution out as well as the creative out."
It's not just P&G. Amid a movement toward transparency, marketers broadly are demanding that agencies simplify processes while still delivering a complex array of marketing services specific to their needs. They want to cull agency lineups, using fewer agencies or at least a single agency or other party to lead the multidisciplinary throng. Making that happen gets even tougher as media continues to fragment, increasing marketer demand for advertising and other content to feed a growing array of channels, and for a wider variety of providers from outside the tradititonal agency world to fill the void.
This "agency of the future" is what Omnicom Group says it will bring to McDonald's, following its win last week of a closely watched review it won out over Publicis Groupe. This unnamed multidisciplinary shop will have 200 staffers and will partner on site with employees from Google, Facebook, the New York Times content studio in addition to people from other Omnicom agencies, including digital shop Critical Mass, Omnicom Media Group, multicultural shop Alma, and boutique agency Sparks & Honey.
Pushing for years
It's the latest iteration of an agency-of-the-future idea some big marketers and agency holding companies have been pushing for years. WPP, which bowed out of the McDonald's contest over reported concerns about cost pressures, has been perhaps the biggest proponent to date, deploying such hybrid custom agencies from Ford (Global Team Blue) to Colgate-Palmolive Co. (Red Fuse).