Published on February 26, 2014
YEAR IN REVIEW 2013
AGENCY MANAGEMENT SERVICES The 4A’s Management Services team works with members and marketers to develop guidance and benchmarks to help member agencies more effectively manage their operations for improved profitability. While 2013 provided many challenges for our members, we focused on a few, key initiatives: Business Development – published guidance to improve New Business practices: • • Joint ANA-4A’s task force developed Agency Selection Briefing Guidance - provides best practices for every phase of a review. New Business Committee developed 4A’s Opportunity Screening Criteria Guidance - advises agencies to develop and follow new business screening criteria because not all business is worth having. Client Compensation – developed negotiation tools for procurement-driven environment: • • • • Client Compensation Negotiation—Best Practices Dos and Don’ts Lessons Learned from Other Professional Services Industries 4A’s Media Services Compensation Survey 4A’s Agency Billing Practices and Client Payment Terms Survey Report (in answer to press coverage of major clients’ extended terms) 1. Most clients pay within 30 days 2. Weighted range is 32-36 days 3. Agencies pre-bill to manage slower payment terms Operations Management – published important guidance for improved operations: • • • • Agency Best Practices: Project-Based Assignments Guidance 4A’s Employee Compensation Survey captures data for 34,000 employees at over 270 agency offices Analysis of Agency Costs Survey with operating cost ratios 4A’s About Employee Benefits Series PAGE 2 of 10
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS The 4A’s Washington office successfully advanced the advertising community’s agenda by working effectively with members and other associations and by advocating directly at the state and federal government levels. Advertising Sales Taxes – three states proposed tax on advertising and agency services: • • • 4A’s Washington quickly mobilized local boards, councils and peer associations to guide defensive actions 4A’s members testified at key public hearings and wrote their local legislators Successful defeat of all three ad sales tax efforts in Minnesota, Ohio and Louisiana Advertising Deductibility – new proposals to reduce and/or change rules: • • • 4A’s has long fought to preserve advertising as a fully deductible expense As founding member of The Advertising Coalition, the 4A’s organized grassroots meetings with members and key lawmakers in local districts Organized a written response by the 4A’s Board of Directors to Congress when new corporate tax proposals emerged late in 2013 from both the House and Senate Consumer Data Privacy • • Continued active support for the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) to fight efforts against interest-based online advertising Are preparing to launch a public policy outreach campaign in 2014 Patent Trolling • • 4A’s Washington formed the Stop Patent Abuse Now (SPAN) coalition Advocated for HR 3309, The Innovation Act, which passed the U.S. House in December 2013 PAGE 3 of 10
AGENCY RELATIONS & MEMBERSHIP The 4A’s Agency Relations and Membership team keeps our 750+ member agencies connected to 4A’s information and activities in the most relevant ways. In 2013, the 4A’s ARM team: • • • Visited more 250+ member agencies Facilitated 60+ local council board meetings Participated in 22 CEO Forum discussions Regional activities included: • 4A’s New England Council sponsored two “Advertising Agency Diversity Day” events in Boston showcasing the agency business to 75 multi-cultural students from Emerson College and Boston University • 4A’s West Coast team partnered with San Francisco law firm Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass on the Brilliant By Noon leadership speaking event that attracted 90 C-level executives • 4A’s Chicago agencies collaborated with Choose Chicago, the Chicago tourism group, on its first-ever marketing campaign promoting the city and brand to enhance talent acquisition • 4A’s Atlanta Council reprised its annual gathering in partnership with Google featuring Abigail Posner PAGE 4 of 10
AGENCY RELATIONS & MEMBERSHIP Training and Education – Webinars, Seminars and Multi-day Programs • Provided 36 hour-long webinar programs on topics such as Measuring Social Engagement, Selling Creative Work, Metrics & Analytics and Progressive Agency Business Models. 3,500+ people participated • Produced 51 full-day seminars in 23 markets. Digital Strategy, Leadership Skills, New Business Pitch Strategy and Project Management were especially popular • Presented 9 multi-week Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies (IAAS) programs presented in Dallas, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Los Angeles • Offered two very popular three-day Executive Leadership Programs for newly promoted agency principals PAGE 5 of 10
STRATEGIC INITIATIVES • Formed a Data Advisory Council, a cross-section of industry thought leaders/ experts in data and analytics • Launched the Agency 2020 initiative, a survey focused on unleashing the value of agencies as idea-creating intermediaries. Results to be presented at Transformation: The Idea Effect, March 16–19, 2014, and will identify how agencies can best align strategy, structure and capabilities to support clients’ business growth • Created Rising Stars group, representing 20+ member agencies to identify best practices for recruiting and training millennials and to plan other projects. The group formed an inspirational panel at Transformation 2013 PAGE 6 of 10
CONFERENCES & EVENTS The 4A’s continued to strengthen its portfolio by programming world-class events offering thought leadership, professional development and strategic networking. Transformation 2013: The Idea Effect • • • Annual March event attracted 1,100+ attendees in New Orleans Featured stellar line-up of speakers from advertisers and agencies including Procter & Gamble, Campbell Soup, Mondelez International, Geico, BBDO, Leo Burnett and 360i Six media family heads shared insights on future of media investment agencies CreateTech • • • Third annual conference focused on technology role in the creative process Featured highly visible speakers including Wendy Clark from Coca-Cola and Ray Kurzweil from Google 250 attendees shared ideas and discussed industry’s trajectory for this discipline Inaugural Data Summit • • • Event was guided by the newly formed 4A’s Data Advisory Council Attended by data specialists from advertising agencies and data analytics companies Featured noted speakers including Sir Martin Sorrell and Nate Silver Annual Strategy Festival – “Strategy &” • • Event held in Nashville and highlighted future of strategy and its role in relation to research, creativity, data, innovation, business goals and content Featured speakers included founder and CEO of Big Machine Records, Scott Borchetta, who shared how a music label can be a content creator PAGE 7 of 10
RESEARCH SERVICES 4A’s Research Services provides marketing insights and thought leadership to aid members in new business efforts and client growth strategies. Customized Research Analysis • • • 85% of member agencies relied on Research Services as an extension of internal agency staff Completed over 10,000 research projects in 2013 Topics included agency trends, changing American demographic profile, consumer behavior and hundreds of prospect/client categories Industries Trends and Profiles • Introduced new website section on nine vertical industries including industry profiles, current research, rankings, statistics, consumer behavior and forecasts: ◊ Banking & Financial ◊ Travel ◊ Food and CPG ◊ Automotive ◊ Healthcare ◊ Retail ◊ Restaurants ◊ Home & Garden ◊ Tech & Electronics Social Media Monitoring and Reporting • • Conducted 4A’s survey of agency social media monitoring and reporting behavior Produced webinar with Netvibes to help agencies determine how best to use and analyze social media PAGE 8 of 10
DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND TALENT DEVELOPMENT Talent, diversity and inclusion are critical business fundamentals key to agencies’ relevancy and sustainability in the global marketplace. 4A’s Diversity & Inclusion and Talent Development initiatives included: MAIP Turned 40 • • • 4A’s MAIP (Multicultural Advertising Intern Program) celebrated its 40th year with 113 interns graduating in 2013 90% of ready-to-hire MAIP graduates placed at agencies around the country Expanded the program to include a virtual training series in addition to traditional on-location agency placements The High School for Innovation Advertising and Media (IAM-HS) • • • With the National Black Programming Consortium, continued support of the in-school advertising agency, IAM Advertising, staffed entirely by students IAM – HS created a social awareness campaign for its first client to promote the PBS documentary, 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School Achieved over 1.5 million impressions prior to program’s premiere Re-investing in the 4A’s Foundation • • Provided scholarships funded in part by 4A’s members and partners Added new program in 2013, the Collective Media Fund, for students pursuing careers in media Introduction of Chief Talent Officer Council • Established the 4A’s Chief Talent Officer Council to serve as collective thought leadership and best practice authority for developing talent • Council to identify examine and discuss the critical issues surrounding talent PAGE 9 of 10
4A’S BENEFITS 4A’s Benefits, a 4A’s subsidiary, designs and manages insurance and benefits programs exclusively for members. Health Insurance • 4A’s, with partner National General Insurance, provided alternative health insurance programs covering 2,250 employees of member agencies facing significant rate increases with current carriers Retirement Plan Services • • 4A’s Benefits provided agencies with free analysis of current retirement plan costs in response to the Department of Labor’s regulation requiring disclosure of fees and expenses Many agencies participating in this analysis moved to the 4A’s Retirement Plan and gained significant savings Workers’ Compensation Insurance • • 4A’s program returns profit and premium savings to policy holders Agencies enrolled in the 4A’s Workers’ Compensation Program in 2013 enjoyed a dividend equal to 61% of premium cost, $10,370,000 in total PAGE 10 of 10
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