The 4A’s (Big Ad Agencies)
Is there room in China for the 4A’s (Big Ad Agencies)? This is an important question that will be answered later in the video below. But before we get started let me explain what a 4A is and why they are important.
The American Association of Advertising Agencies (the 4A’s or AAAA) was founded in 1917, and has since been recognized as the national trade association representing the advertising agency business in the United States.” – Jeff Bausch
The 4A’s are the major players, they account for 80 percent of the advertising produced in the United States. When we talk about the 4A’s role in China, we are talking about the boutiques that are backed by WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic Group, etc. Also, we are talking about China’s Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies.
If want to know more about some of the advertising agencies in China that are backed by the 4A’s check out this list Top 10 list of Advertising Agencies in China.
Video are big ad agencies dead in China?
The video is an interview with David Wolf. He is an experienced ad man with an extensive background in China. The video takes a look at the future of big ad agencies in China. The video is produced by Thoughtful China. If you have not been following them, now is a good time to start. They continue to produce quality content about China and the Chinese markets.
大型广告公司前景如何？ – Is There a Future for Big Ad Agencies?
Final Thoughts about the future of Big Ad Agencies in China
After watching this video, I have to agree with David, the future of the Big Ad Agencies in China is at risk, but I also believe there is hope if they can break away from their headquarters and become more independent. China and the Chinese markets are extremely different in many ways from western markets and requiring approval from NY or London is impractical. Decisions need to be made here in China because the talent has a better understanding of what works and what needs to be done in order to be effective. Just like the video said flexibility is key to survival.
I also agree that the smaller specialized boutiques and agencies will continue to gain ground within China. Marketing and advertising encompass many aspects, which means smaller specialized agencies can become experts and provided the best quality on one or two aspects. Specializing in social media, digital, print, etc. is where the smaller boutiques can out shine the big ad agencies. They can cut cost because they will not have the overhead or staffing requirements of a full service ad agency.
Again I agree, I think the trend will continue from Big Ad agencies to specialized agencies and we will see a balancing in the next few years. The Big Ad agencies will need to rethink their purpose and restructure their China operations. I believe they will remain important players because of their media buying power, but we might see a shift in creatives. The creative aspects will be shifted to the smaller agencies that specialize and the media buying will be handled by the Big Ad agencies because of their leverage.
What are your thoughts about the future of the Big Ad agencies in China? and What do you think about the rise of smaller specialized agencies?