Between the Lines: AMV spies digital potential

This week's tie-up between Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and the US online agency iChameleon Group (page 2) saw the UK's biggest agency by billings effectively set up its own digital shop.

The offshoot, which will sit within the AMV offices, is unlikely to be of sufficient size to trouble any of the major digital independent agencies, but the move is nevertheless a significant one: even the best-established of advertising agencies can no longer afford to ignore the growth of digital as a medium.

Most above-the-line shops are taking a hard look at the sector, some with a view to hiring a senior-level specialist to help launch a digital division, others to find a small, creative independent to either acquire or joint venture with.

That AMV had to go to the US to find the right partner shows how few small independent shops still exist on UK shores. And with plenty of established US digital agencies now looking for a foothold in the lucrative European market, more such tie-ups may start to become a feature of the UK agency landscape.