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Observatory International attends the AdForum Worldwide Summit in London April 15th to 17th

AdForum’s Worldwide Summit gathers selected agency leaders from all disciplines to meet with the world’s leading marketing management consultants. This biannual event provides an opportunity to assess and forecast global industry trends, exchange up-to-date information, and share ideas, challenges and opportunities in an exclusive forum.

While digital touch-points, social media and narrowcasting have transformed storytelling, one thing remains constant: creativity is still the main currency of the industry.  Visiting a selection of global networks, creative agencies, digital and social shops, AdForum explored the many ways in which the communications industry is reengineering itself around its core values.

Attending for The Observatory International were Stuart Pocock, Managing Partner, and Senior Consultants – Christine Downton and Florence Garnier.

Key themes we observed:

The marketing industry landscape is transforming

 Competing against consulting companies, software companies and publishing houses, traditional agency networks are looking to re-invent themselves to modernise, get back to growth and be magnets again for young talent.

Brands need to adapt their strategies

 Brands and content proliferation nurture fierce competition for the consumer share of mind: “everything competes with everything” was a recurring theme. As a consequence, Brands have to focus on human relevance in all aspects of their communications.

A need to change marketing practices and organisations

In order to create content better, faster and cheaper new ways of working and flatter structures are required within both client teams and within agencies.

A desire for greater integration

There’s significant evidence of Clients aiming to re-engineer their agency roster in order to maximize opportunities in a transformed communications landscape.

At the same time agencies are keen to see fewer pitches and more long-term relationships to allow them to gain a deeper understanding of Brands and their markets and thus be both more effective and efficient.

During the forum, meetings were held with:

  • Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO WPP (with the CEOs of Addison Group, Geometry Global, GroupM, Hogarth, JWT, Kinetic, Landor, Maxus, MEC, Millward Brown, OgilvyOne dnx, OgilvyOne Worldwide, OgilvyPR, Possible, RKCR/Y&R, TNS, Wunderman, Xaxis).
  • The leadership team of Havas Worldwide and Havas Media Group.
  • Robert Senior, Worldwide CEO Saatchi & Saatchi,
  • Ben Fennell, UK CEO BBH,
  • Carl Johnson, Founding Partner Anomaly,
  • Charles Vallance & Adrian Coleman Founding Partners VCCP.
  • Hans Andersson, Managing Partner Forsman & Bodenfors,
  • Ami Hasan, Chairman Hasan Group & Perfect Fools.
  • Ryan Newey, Founding Partner & Creative Director Fold7,
  • Al MacCuish, Co-Founder & CCO, Kit Hawkins, CEO, Gemma Knox, Client Services Director Sunshine,
  • Helen Calcraft and Andy Nairn, Founding partners Lucky Generals,
  • Stephen Maher, Founder & CEO MBA,
  • Tim Bourne, CEO and Keir Mather MD, Exposure
  • And interesting consumer insight provided by Claire Valoti, Head of Agency Relations at Facebook.
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