Sorrell’s next target and ad spending going up (or is it down?)

The Message gives you the run down on what in the world is happening right now.

S4 closes in on MightyHive: Martin Sorrell’s interest in buying programmatic advertising agency MightyHive has reached the “advanced talks” stage, according to Reuters. Earlier this month, it was reported Sorrell’s new S4 Capital could pay up to $200 million on the San Francisco-based agency, with revenues reportedly around $25 million. MightyHive has been earning a reputation for being the shop to help business take their programmatic ad buying in-house. That trend has been on the rise as marketers grow increasingly frustrated about how their digital dollars are being managed by their media agencies. In other words: MightyHive is aspirin for marketers with big budgets and bigger headaches about the mysteries of digital advertising spend.

Two different views on global ad spend: GroupM says ad spending is down globally, but IPG’s Magna says ad spending is up. Both released year-end forecasts Monday. According to Magna, the ad industry is “experiencing its strongest growth since 2010.” Global spending should hit $552 billion this year, an increase of 7.2%. Digital spend will reach $251 billion, about 45% of the total global spend. With the top ad markets (U.S., China, India) looking strong for next year, Magna projects the ad market will grow by another 4.7% in 2019. For the U.S., growth is expected to be about 4.5% while for the Canada the forecast is slightly (very slightly) better at 4.6%. Meanwhile, GroupM revised down its prediction for 2018 to $543 billion. (More on GroupM’s Canadian forecast here.)

Adam&Eve losing last two co-founders: The last two co-founders of Adam&Eve are leaving the agency, with plans to form a new creative shop. Formed in 2008, Adam&Eve was sold to Omnicom in 2013 and has been of the world’s most successful agencies for years. Two of the original four founders left soon after arriving at their earn out, and now David Golding and James Murphy will also take their leave. Although non-competes will prevent them from opening something new until 2020, they gave some hin of what their next shop will look like. “Everyone appears to be running away from being a creative business in our market and I think people need to run towards that,” Murphy told Campaign. “There’s been a collective loss of nerve. It’s time for people to rally round what creative agencies can actually do.”

British recommendations for more diversity: The Advertising Diversity Taskforce has just released the results of a large study about diversity in the British ad industry. The survey found 16% of British agency employees identify as being from black, asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, ahead of the national average of 13%. A recent Canadian study by the ICA found 26% of Canadian agency workers identify as visible minority. The Taskforce, an informal collection of agencies dedicated to attracting more diverse creative talent, also provided a series of recommendations:

  • Taking personal responsibility for nurturing and developing diverse talent
  • Signing-up for an annual diversity audit to understand your agency better
  • Creating an office space that is as open and inclusive as possible
  • Setting policies that drive change and joining the Advertising Diversity Taskforce
  • Making public commitments to change

-David Brown

David Brown