Which will win out in the new media arena? Will it be the large Madison Avenue shops, with their huge staffs, millions of dollars in resources and deep-pocketed clients? Or will it be the hip, nimble Internet developers that offer cheap labor and a stunning vision of the future?
The answer is neither.
Welcome the rise of the interactive agency giants: technology-driven companies with huge staffs, real revenues and more than enough vision to rival both the traditional agencies and the small shops.
Standing head and shoulders above the crowd are three agencies-CKS Group, Poppe Tyson and TN Technologies-that have become the new Goliaths of the agency world.
With the turn-on-a-dime mentality of the Web developers and the account management savvy of the largest ad agencies, these companies are shaping a new world order for interactive agencies now and for all agencies in the not-so-distant future.
Clients are showing overwhelming approval of such an animal. Some of the biggest marketers in the worls--AT&T, IBM, Citibank and MCI--already work with these companies.
Traditional ad agencies don't fare nearly as well with clients. In a first-ever survey by Advertising Age and Mediamark Research Inc., detailed on Page S-4, marketers give lukewarm marks to their agencies and say they want to use a variety of resources for interactive work. Ad agencies are their lead resource by only the slimmest of margins.