# Insights

4 takeouts from the latest AdForum London Summit

We took part in the latest edition of the AdForum Summit, held in London from 6 to 9 November. A targeted event, bringing together consultants from all over the world and executives from around twenty agencies and key players in the industry.

What are the main takeouts from this edition?

During these 4 days, we spent around thirty hours meeting over 200 people, viewing 1500 slides and discussing with our peers from around fifteen nationalities, so to summarise all this content, we asked ChatGpt for a little help.

Here are the 4 key points most frequently mentioned by participants:

Restructuring Holding Companies

Participants emphasized that traditional holding company structures are outdated and require streamlining and improvement. Increased consolidation of agencies in creative and media spaces was noted, highlighting the need for adaptation to new technologies.

2 weeks earlier, WPP announced to its clients a major evolution in its offering with the merger of Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R. The combined entity, known as VML, was announced as the industry’s largest creative agency (30,000 people), with world-class capabilities in commerce, customer experience and marketing technology.

Serious Consideration of AI

AI is recognized as a significant and enduring trend in the industry, with agencies investing at all levels. The practical and useful applications of AI, particularly in saving time on mundane tasks, were highlighted. The value of AI in production efficiencies, delivering work at scale while saving costs and full-time equivalents (FTEs), was highlighted.

Mark Read even told us that AI will be WPP’s biggest investment over the next few years.

Importance of Differentiation

Agencies face challenges in standing out due to increasing similarities and the expansion of services, making differentiation more crucial than ever. The focus on being part of culture and media agnosticism was identified as a key narrative, emphasizing the difficulty of achieving standout status.

Shift in Holding Companies vs. New networks Dynamics

Holding companies are consolidating and facing financial challenges, while new networks are growing rapidly with private equity investment (Stagwell Global, MSQ Partners…). New networks are learning from the mistakes of legacy holding companies, making strategic acquisitions to avoid overlaps in offerings.

These key points provide insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by advertising agencies, ranging from structural changes to the integration of AI and the ongoing importance of differentiation in a competitive landscape.

Credit Photo: DALL·E


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