Digital: Special Report

The UK's largest ad agencies have got into a bit of a spin about the feature on this page. Their digital departments are evidently not their favourite topic of conversation. This is because, for all their garbled attempts to claim otherwise, most are embarrassingly inept when it comes to digital ads.

Go to a digital awards show and you'll be lucky to spot anyone from advertising's old guard. This is partly because few of them produce award-winning digital work, if any at all. It is also because few feel comfortable cavorting with geeky digital types.

The industry doesn't seem to know how to face up to its digital insecurities. Some shops form loose affiliations with sibling agencies. Some fashion joint ventures with specialists. Only a handful have dedicated in-house teams. So it's hardly surprising that, according to a recent survey by the Haystack Group (Campaign, 15 September), only 4 per cent of clients feel their agencies are on top of what's going on in digital.

Not everyone is getting it wrong. Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Mother fare well in our school-report-style feature, while Ogilvy, a regular in Campaign's Turkey of the Week column for its TV ads, arguably has adland's best digital capability.

Media agencies do digital better. We score creative agencies, on average, an "adequate" 3.6 out of 7 for their digital prowess. Media agencies average 4.5, almost "good". No wonder more than a quarter of clients in the Haystack survey feel their media agencies are getting to grips with the discipline. "The message we are getting is that media agencies take a broader view and so have invested heavily on digital planning and strategy," Suki Thompson, the head of Haystack, says. "They 'get' where the audiences are going."

Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).