Ad agencies face decoupling

3 October 2007
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04 October 2007

Few advertising agencies have broken up the services they offer despite increasing pressure from purchasers.

According to the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, only 40 per cent of its members have "decoupled" pre-press and print production services. Decoupling is the breaking up of the marketing supply chain. Suppliers further down the chain, such as printers, are usually controlled by agencies, but are now being selected and managed by the client.

Emma Nussey, consultant at Future Purchasing, speaking at a debate last month, said a strong supply market and increased use of digital technology is turning suppliers, traditionally reliant on agencies for work, into their competitors. She added decoupling services often began if purchasers "didn't feel they were getting the benefits".

Jeanie Bergin, creator of marketing consultancy Thinking W.I.D.E, said decoupling is "no longer a question of if, but how".

Karina Wilshire, managing director at agency Fallon, told agencies to consider how to manage it or "it might happen to you, rather than with you".


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