Between the Lines: Ignore digital at your peril

The AAR's annual finger-in-the-wind test of the state of the new-business market (page 3) revealed mixed fortunes for the UK's agencies: creative and DM pitches down, media pitches up after a particularly bad 2005, and a staggering 245 per cent increase in the number of digital advertising reviews.

This rise is indicative of a shift in the market, as more marketers question what they should be doing in the digital space. But it will come as little consolation to traditional ad agencies wondering why their market is so quiet: few ever appear on pitchlists for digital accounts.

Maybe they don't want to: despite the rise in reviews, the average value of a digital pitch is still so low it is hardly worth an agency getting out of bed for.

Over time, though, investment in the sector will become more significant. It might not be happening yet, but it won't be long before clients start shifting big pieces of budget from traditional media into online. When that happens, the ad agencies better be in a position to defend their territory.