Rundown: For agencies, in-housing is a symptom, not a disease
One of the key slides in WPP’s annual report, released this week, essentially shrugged off in-housing as a threat to agencies. In a section about “engagement in action,” it outlined what it says are the most common questions it gets from shareholders. One of them was if clients are in-housing media and creative, and how WPP plans to respond. The agency said that in-housing is “not at the heart of the economics of WPP,” and “in-housing is difficult,” particularly, it said, when it comes to the challenges of retaining and recruiting people. It’s an interesting tack to take, given the plethora of numbers around how much more brands want to take in-house.
Instead of in-housing, WPP is setting its sights on other issues. One goal is consolidation: the company has 100 mergers and 80 office closures planned for the remainder of the year, that will result in a gross headcount reduction of 3,500. Another is a focus on talent recruitment and retention.
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