On The Hill Holliday Spin Off; The Advertiser-Agency Conundrum

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Over The Hill

In an interview with Adweek, Trilia Media President Cindy Stockwell opens up about what led Hill Holliday to spin off its media operations. Prior to her current role, Stockwell served as EVP and chief media officer for Hill Holliday. “We wanted to be able to invest in tools, technology and data sets to give our current clients an edge in the marketplace,” she said. “To do that, we needed to be in a position to create a revenue stream. We talked to a few key search consultants who felt that media creativity was really lacking in the rush to data and low CPM, and that clients were hungering for a partner that could provide both.” The line between media and creativity continues to blur. Read it.  


Speaking of agencies, Brian Jacobs asks in a think piece for Media Village what advertisers are looking for from agencies, and why agencies have been going through a period of recent “restlessness.” He posits that as holding companies try to provide an integrated service across their agencies, turf wars can result. “There’s a kind-of middle-path land-grab within which one holding company claims to be able to deliver an integrated service across its operating units. Sometimes this works; sometimes the agencies within the holding company fall out over who gets the largest slice of the cake.” Read on.

WPP-Adobe, BFFs

WPP has cozied up to Adobe through an expanded strategic partnership. The team-up is designed to bolster marketing tech solutions available to WPP agencies such as Acceleration, Wunderman, KBM Group and VML. It falls under WPP’s Technology Partnership Program, spearheaded by Chief Digital Officer Scott Spirit. WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell says the deal lets clients “respond more strategically and more efficiently to their biggest marketing challenges,” according to a press release.

Clever As A Fox

National Geographic and 21st Century Fox are moving beyond their existing partnership – Fox already holds a majority stake in National Geographic’s broadcast properties – to start a new media company called National Geographic Partners. Unlike the National Geographic Society, this venture will be for-profit, and will encompass all of National Geographic’s properties (TV, print, digital, licensing, maps, etc.). The New York Times reports that the new company is valued at $725 million, with Fox owning 73% and National Geographic 27%. More.


The Associated Press is launching a new division meant to “help brands promote their products and services through multiformat storytelling.” The AP currently works with brands through its AP Assignment service, which distributes content through its technology and infrastructure. The new AP Content Services group, like AP Assignments, is separate from the newsroom. Judging by the language in the release, the AP plans to facilitate work with its network of people who do production (“securing photographers and video crews”), but not to take on the content creation with its own talent. Press release.

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