Comments for “Life Expectancy of Traditional Agencies” Survey

As we are concluding the survey of “Life Expectancy of Traditional Agencies”, I would like to share with you all the comments from all other LinkedIn Groups where I asked the question:

Do you believe traditional advertising agencies will extinct in 10 years?

As you would see below, I have conducted this survey in various professional groups in order to gather multiple point of views. Due to the intriguing nature of the question, it received quite a bit of attention with many ideas and comments, some totally agreeing or disagreeing, and some sceptical about the future, and some even angry with the question.

So, here are the comments of the members in various LinkedIn groups where I conducted the survey in :

                                                      C     O     M     M     E     N     T     S

                                                                    (LinkedIn Groups)


New Generation Agency Network


Koksal Abdurrahmanoglu President & CEO at “new generation agency” adinteractive / Founder of & adinteractive

As we all experience, economic crises made it gruesomely visible that every business has to innovate. The advertising market, I believe, is also going through a huge innovation phase.

After being 15 years in this sector and observing carefully the direction of he consumer, I predict that the birth of a new form of advertising agency, combining both digital and traditional skills, is very near.

I think, there won’t be any distinction between traditional and digital in the very near future.

Instead, the main competition in the advertising market will be in becoming the innovated brand new advertising agency. I believe the race goes both ways though. Whether it is digital or traditional, we are all racing for becoming the all-mighty “new generation agency”.

What do you think?


– Köksal.


Yusuf Arslan Internet Development – Project Manager

a) Yes! will enter the 2000 dollar range, consumers will change their entertainment behavior.

Digital agency as we currently define will disappear! The platforms (websites) digital agencies currently are developing will be commodity and advertising agencies will exploit these platforms. But the definition of “traditional agency” will change dramatically.

In the upcoming 5 year the “hardware” will change too. We already have seen hybrid devices that combines tv’s and pc’s together. This will further integrate until is a real mature “multi media center” (reminded me Philips CD-I, but this time successful hahaha) where there is no distinction between the separate devices. So targeting this device(s) will be the regular marketing channel. Consider that media such as news papers and magazine do shift also to digital readers and pc’s.

When 40 inch devices such as

After this change the next step is really difficult to guess. But the traditional agencies are creative enough to be creative with these media. The current digital agencies will try to develop next gen platforms but this is a high risk attempt because the profitability of these next gen platforms could be in the long term.


Evrim Kuran Managing Partner at Dinamo Training & Consulting

The answer is: a) Yes!
…and by the way, let us make mention of Darwin saying “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”


Matthieu Floret Business Development Director at Smart Meeddya

Do you believe traditional advertising agencies will extinct in 10 years?

The answer is….No….but !-)

No not the way they are structured today, because Trad Ag have to adapted themselves to the new ways of communication which means new departments probably and also more transversal than they are today.
How do the big ones are doing today? they buy small agencies !! to get back into their CRM favors.

Digital Agencies or new generation agencies have a good chance today to capitalize on their market and varorate it.



Canol Zeren Sales Specialist Narrowcasting at KPN

the answer will be (b) we will have more network companies/agencies instead


Serkan Unsal Business Developer at Turkcell

if they evolve YES!

Since they have financial power, they’re just acquiring new, innovative, small ones to evolve.


Nüzhet Algüneş Executive Vice President @ Mobilera B.V.

My answer is YES & NO..

– “Traditional Advertising” will not die. It will only change its platform. Which is from Analogue to Digital.

“The key thing” for traditional advertising to die is: The death of “one way communication.”

And if we say that “one way will die”, that would not be true, as the traditional way depends on “LIP” (low involvement processing”) ability of our brains, which mainly depends on the fact that “we are recording most of the messages unconsciously and we act on them..”

So, in short, the traditional way works (when properly used), and it will survive.. So will the traditional advertising agencies.

But the “dialog” side of communication will also continue evolving and gaining strong share.

Thats the natural result of the new information era, and its inevitable.

The question is: what will be the % of the new communcations ?

Of course it will vary from category to category. For example I don’t think that
most “mass FMCG companies” will switch to digital world so easily. (and they stated this strongly in Cannes 2009).

Of course, their digital share will increase, but will not be as high as other categories such as Banking, Automotive etc.

But some categories like Banking will move to digital very fast, and their share of investment in digital may be higher than analogue in the coming 5 years.

In short,

The answer is YES & NO 🙂 The need for digital or traditional agency structures will vary from category, to category, country to country and so on.


Mark Greenberg Owner/composer – Mayfair Recordings/Mayfair Workshop

No… but the question is a little misleading. Saying “traditional advertising” is like saying ‘traditional art’…. By definition, advertising (and art) is in constant flux…. it grows and changes with the times, with the advances in technology, and with the new and ever changing places where pop culture focuses its eyes upon… It reflects the times it is in. There is very little difference between Uncle Miltie stopping to shill for baking flour and the pop-ups you get on your screen when you visit your favorite e-store.


Gail Gardner Internet Strategist at

Mark makes an excellent point. To compare apples to apples, “traditional advertising” needs to be defined. If you mean the large agencies primarily working with Fortune 500 companies using primarily print and television media they are changing – but far slower than entrepreneurial types would have.

If you want to see where the two sides (Internet saavy versus traditional PR agency) are go to an SES conference (primarily SEM/SEO types) and see how what they know differs from what you see at IRC (Internet Retailer Conference). Several years ago they were very different. I suspect today they may be more similar.

International Corporations are used to being in control and they will continue to assert their influence to favor what they want to be true even if it is not. Did you see the comments made by Google’s CEO about Google’s intention to “favor brands” and “clean up” the Internet “cesspool”? I can provide the link if others wish to read it.

By the way, in order for us to see the comments posted by Koksal we have to join each of those groups.


Gökhan Demirtas Senior Web Designer at ITP Digital Publishing Ltd.

But they’ll have to adapt themselves. The ones that can combine their experience with vision will succeed.

Not in 10, but 20-25 years from now electronic paper will take over the traditional print publishing. Your foldable e-paper will download the latest news, the magazines you’ve subscribed, movie trailers, breaking news from local/global TV stations etc… Discounts with your favourite brands will be delivered to you 24/7, based on your location, personalized for your likes/dislikes. So the long term goal is data mining.

And of course the audience will be able to interact, so targeted marketing will be very important. User generated content and independent news reporting will be dominant.

For many years content format and page layout for print versus web was totally different because of limitations. Content management systems for print and web are already merging at the moment.

In conclusion the mediums and the concept of desktop publishing are changing in a fast pace, so best practice is to keep up with emerging technologies or you’re out of the game.


Advertising Professional


Craig Colman Strategically focused marketing/advertising professional

Agencies should be about creative solutions to business problems. Solutions should be integrated and media agnostic. If your agency can’t think and execute in the full range of media then you need a new agency.

Specialists in one area have a place, but not as a lead agency. If the right solution happens to be an outdoor execution, do you think an interactive agency is going to tell you that?

The answer to your questions depends on the definition of a traditional agency. If you think a traditional agency can offer fully integrated solutions, then the answer is no. If you think a traditional agency just means print, broadcast and banners, then the answer is yes and the timeline to extinction is more like 2 years.


Cameron Clement President + Brand Communications Director: C3 Brandworks

Advertising agencies will not disappear, but as we all know, they will and are going through transformations.

Digital media is still media, as well as social networking. Both are tools. And both are not the ultimate answer to consumer needs, just vehicles for effective communications and commerce.

Many of the larger agencies may seek to merge with some digital builders to gain some ground on cost effectiveness. But again, nothing replaces strategy except the next solution…which is what good advertising agencies are really about.

The business of marketing as a whole has been in some sort of decline or other for almost two decades, but it will not ever completely go away as long as consumer products need to communicate en mass.

It’s a good question and I look forward to reading more perspectives.

Thanks, Cameron Clement


Tarek Nasr Owner, 360 Degrees / Scope Advertising

I believe they should be extinct; however i feel at the end of the day many of the larger agencies are talking about change on the managerial level and talking about new initiatives and so forth however the account management team still employs the same tired formula to each client; it is only when there is a chance of losing the business does seniors then get involved and try to persuade the client to stay by offering all their new tools

In my opinion going from traditional to digital is not a change in the model but just a progression of consumers consumption habits;

I think the model will change in theory but stay the same in reality until advertising is better taught at universities and better educated.


Dave Harbison Advertising — Where Knowledge & Creativity Collide.

The essence of advertising has always been about translation. I don’t think that will change too much. Therefore, Ad groups that are good translators will survive and flourish. We’ll never be short of translators…especially since the core of our being is emotion. I.f there is something to be sold, there will be advertising…and in turn, a driving force behind it.

With that said, I agree with Tarek, there has been a seismic change in presentation (media). Use of evolving technology has just allowed greater latitude to translate and tell the story.


Mark Wallinger Marketing Manager at TERiX

The “democratization” of creative technologies — where anyone can use I-Movie to make a YouTube video — and social networks will change agencies, but creative solutions and great storytelling (be it web, print, etc.) will always be valued. Everyone can buy the technology, but it doesn’t mean everyone knows how to leverage it creatively … and make money doing it.


Advertising Professionals


John Staple Principal at SUM Advertising


But what a “traditional” agency looks like in ten years will be a lot different than what it looks like today.


Russell Solomon Senior AD, Grey nyc

No, not by a long shot. Advertising itself is evolving and the old traditional agencies will have to evolve with the times. That’s what’s happening at my place. They still will be known as the “traditional” agencies only because of their names but they won’t look or feel the same as they did ten years ago. You have to be able to do everything and offer clients more value for their dollar as well as the big creative ideas that span not only the traditional mediums and newer avenues but into areas that haven’t been developed or even discovered.


Vilma Minor Independent Marketing and Advertising Professional

I honestly don’t believe there is such a thing called “traditional advertising agency”. Good advertising is, in its core, idea-centered, which allows anything else (see media) reinvent or adapt itself according to consumer/ market changes.
The “traditional” is given by a rather media-centered viewpoint. I do not think that adding the digital makes much of a difference – it is just an adaptation of the tools used.

But I know what you mean – like any other field, mainly due to the demand for “efficiency” and getting excessively globalized, advertising had to pay the toll to “templates” and “successful models”.

Advertising agencies will not disappear, they will just have to adapt – like they did it in the less recent past.


Doug Schommer Freelance Art Director / Self-employed

Not unless TV and magazines are gone in 10 years.


Ken Church at AdMatrix Advertising

Koksal, YES. But we all do “new media” and “interactive initiatives” if we can’t we will learn fast. It still boils down to a good idea and creativity. Creativity is still where the battle for clients will be won. A traditional ad agency with dumb ideas is worthless and a new interactive agency with boring ideas is also worthless. I’m speaking in general here not about your shop, it looks like you have the bases covered.


Joe Radding Marketing and Creative Consultant

I think the definition of an agency will change.

Certainly in the Detroit area, where I have worked for many years, the 20th century model of an agency is less viable than it once was. Much of the work that remains has been shipped out of town. The agencies that remain have greatly downsized. Many of the smaller traditional agencies are gone. Previous compensation models are outmoded. Many agency veterans are flying solo these days.

The irony is, that in an era when there is ever increasing knowledge and acceptance of the principles of integrated marketing communications, the agencies that serve clients are often even more specialized than they were in the days of full-service agencies. A single focus on digital, PR, CRM, events, promotions, and so on are the norm for many niche agencies.

Although many traditional full-service agencies of the 20th century had all these disciplines under one roof, they often tended to be driven by the 30 second TV spot or the print campaign. These are not necessarily the most appropriate tactical means to execute a modern viable strategy. The “traditional” agency, and the specialized agency, often suffered from the “when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” syndrome.

So the answer to your question is a qualified yes, depending on how you define “traditional,” or a qualified no, if the “traditional” agencies adapt. The agency of the 21st century will redefine “traditional.”


Carl Loeb SVP, Copywriter at McCann Erickson

Depends on what you mean by “traditional.”

YES, agencies that subsist on pre-digital media will be extinct. If they aren’t already.

NO, big, ungainly marketing services companies and the holding groups that own them will be around forever.

Advertising is virus-like in its ability to adapt to adverse conditions and thrive on. (I say this with a certain grudging admiration.)


Mark Greenberg Owner/composer – Mayfair Recordings/Mayfair Workshop

By definition, advertising is in constant flux…. it grows and changes with the times, with the advances in technology, and with the new and ever changing places where pop culture focuses its eyes upon… There is very little difference between Uncle Miltie stopping to shill for baking flour and the pop-ups you get on your screen when you visit your favorite e-store.


Naila Patel Creative Supervisor at Communicate 2

No, advertising has always been a very dynamic medium and the traditional keeps changing its avtaar but until people stop watching television and reading newspapers & magazines traditional advertising will exist.


vijay kumar Managing Director, breeze advertising

Traditional ad agencies are already extinct. Running my own agency past two decades, I have seen changes that have overwhelmed the ad agency managers. Technology has made life easy but at the same time has shrunk time lines. Now the clients want things done faster than ever before. If the present form of ad agencies don’t adapt, they too will disappear.


Glenn Holberton Producer at Loose Moose Productions Ltd and Owner, Loose Moose Productions Ltd

No – Advertising agencies and advertising itself will change and evolve as all things do, climbing to creative precedence and fading away – new launches and sudden closures. It’s what keeps signwriters in business!
At the end of the day, when all’s said and done much is glib and cliched, but at this moment in time there will never be a substitute for a great idea.
Raising brand awareness, creating brand desirability and informing consumers are the key elements and it does not matter how they are delivered as long as they engage the audience.


Derek Wardwell Owner of KreativeXpert

In an effort to not be redundant, I say NO! And I agree with most everything above. My belief is there will be a higher value placed on “agencies” that elevate companies to a higher level of operation and honesty. One that is supported by the consumers who take in and share the brand with others based on their satisfaction. It is a call to all of us to “BE REAL”.

Enough of the traditional BS that has made advertising what it is today, disrespected and nearly invaluable. A new focus on true customer satisfaction is at hand.


Aquent Network


Jason Lim Account Director at Oasis Interactive (S) Pte Ltd

The fact that larger agencies are already into the TTL offerings evidently shows the need or rather the growing influence digital has gained over the years.

Digital marketing is still very ‘young’ and is constantly evolving. There are but not many talents around (at least where I’m now) with strong fundamentals in traditional advertising and good knowledge in digital marketing.

At the end of the day, it is very much dependent on the people we have in our agencies that can constantly deliver TTL campaigns that works. The results will drive the industry’s needs to evolve faster.


Greg Matthews Graphic & Web Designer, Digital Artwork Specialist, Illustrator and Digital Artist

I think there will definitely still be a place for advertising agencies, but I think what we will see is a merging of divisions.

Where agencies are currently divided into separate entities such as: advertising, digital, PR, promotions etc., and where employees are expected to specialise in a single area, I think we’ll very quickly see a move to more integrated agencies making use of multi-faceted talent.

Certainly as a graphic designer myself, I’m very aware of employers’ expectations changing. For example there are more and more jobs being advertised for designer/developers and less for specific print or web based professionals.


Kim Kemmer SVP Director of Customer Insight at Flint Communications

Leading global agencies show as high as 20 percent of their current revenue is generated from digital sources as compared to traditional sources. Depending on the metrics you choose to follow, many projections indicate continued growth in digital revenue over the next several years – making 10 years a given death to traditional only revenue. Look for agencies to begin supporting further blurring of on/offline, and a rounding off of digital growth in the next 5 years.


Elaine Lim Communication Specialist, Freelance writer, Blogger

Yes. Traditional print advertising is definitely joining the ranks of black&white photography – and soon. It will have a cult following of the baby boomers and to the early Gen X’s, where it will further decimate until print is fully evolved into digitally. So, if traditional advertising agencies do not start embracing digital media and online marketing strategies, I think they are going to be missing a huge piece of the pie and severe their bottom line. But advertising won’t ever die, it’ll just be an ongoing transformation process. I don’t think advertising was ever meant to be traditional.


Andrea Scafidi Entrepreneur

I worked right through the changes, from darkroom film work to the daylight stat cameras, to CD and digital large format…now the digital revolution such as Opaltone for print, and Social Networking for communication and Branding

The agency will definitely change, extinction no…, the digital revolution along with social networking is certainly making a big impact on traditional agency.

Wild Apricot Blog : Free Popcorn: a Case Study in Social Networking


Communication Arts 


Laurie Blume Owner, BlumeDesign

Personally, I am hoping that the days of the high-priced agencies will diminish and the wave of the future will be small operations with low overhead. I am a one-person operation, but through my connections and networking, I am able to produce work that larger organizations put out.


Barbara Howington Freelance Writing and Editing Professional

I agree with you, Laurie. I’m an independent copywriter and I’m seeing some real shifts because of the economy. My biggest agency client dissolved and several former employees as well as the owner have branched out to do their own virtual agencies. Good work to be had for us freelancers. It seems like a very powerful and less costly model.


Lynn Carter owner at Lynn Carter & Associates Inc.

I’ve been on the outskirts of the agency business for most of my life. And the best time is now. Bear markets bring bull markets to smaller, tightly run agencies and independents like us.

The “think outside of the box” went too far!
Now everyone is doing the thinking, when they should be hiring.

It’s really sad what’s going on.
The leading companies of tomorrow will have creative visionaries to bring them out of this rut. And I mean “CREATIVE”
It’s all being lead by marketing now but their day will come. Decisions are going to be made by the creative genius with in the corporation.
Start looking to be that genius.

Most major players in the marketing communications services are owned by one of the multinational HOLDING companies that dominate the industry. About a handful – that’s it. They own the agencies, networks, research, printers, interactive, marketing, studios etc. We haven’t got a hope in hell.
The only thing they don’t own are the clients that hire them and I’m sceptic on that.
I try not to get hung up on that. And keep my focus on midsize to small companies. Who cares about the agencies. People have to say no. My girlfriend just got fired as a senior art director from one large agency. She worked day and night, no social life at all in the past 3 years and that’s it. They keep the juniors and fire the big salaried people.
Have you heard this story before?
My son is a graphic designer working for a large telecom corporation. He goes home at 5:00 and comes in at 9:00. Very rarely does he need to put in any overtime. He knows if he works for an ad agency, he’ll be working every night, without overtime pay and less salary! Where’s the glamour?


Stan Zlotnick Creative Director, Zlotnick Design

The trend is shifting again. Back in the 70s and 80s when economic depressions hit, most big corporations outsourced. As computer technology progressed through the 90s, they pulled back. Certain industries had always outsourced.
Now, it seems as though the medium to large size companies are keeping highly trained IT people (they call themselves web designers) at competitive salaries.
Using templates designed in India and China for their marketing, and “copywriters” that are really marketing administrative personnel or maybe middle management, get a brainy idea, but don’t have the skill to form that responsive headline.
These people are not really trained and don’t possess the “talent” and skills that professionals like us have been doing for years.
What it comes down to is, before anyone can make a prediction on the ad agency business, you have to first figure out where the real talent is going to land after the scramble.
It’s really tough connecting, and I network and market myself as much as any entrepeneur should. I just can’t grab a handle on this ride.

… As an agency art director, (and I met them all) they were burned out in 2 years. Creative, yes. Brilliant, no. Just good team work and conceptual thinking. This is what we call today “Outside the Box.” Design firms and Interactive agencies have to come together and settle on the most efficient ways on how to move forward in this creative mish mosh. I don’t see conceptual thinking taking the lead anymore. A lot of minimalistic clutter is filling the media with stuff that looks like clip art templates and photographers and illustrators are suffering. Writers have a hard time as well. I don’t see that headline that’s going to bowl you over like “When the going gets tough the tough get going”. The design, whether it’s ads, posters, websites, billboards, etc. mostly look like simplistic, according to the grid, funky type (handwriting, and all the TrueType knockoffs of the original ITC fonts. The message is the weakest part of the media. Marshall McCluhan (The Message Is The Media) is rolling in his grave. How many ad campaigns, package designs, etc. are making it into the Smithsonian as culture icons today compared with 20 or 30 years ago.
Message to Creativity…….Come out, Come out, where ever you are!


Greg Shaffer Creative at Gregory Design

I agree with Lynn too. She really nailed it. I do also believe though that the traditional advertising agency will not become extinct but it will definitely go through some big changes. I have found that a lot of companies are looking for advertising agency quality but not wanting to pay the huge over head fees that they changes, which they need to, so they are looking for those designers and writers who have been there and are or have branched out for themselves. They get the quality of an ad agency but don’t pay nearly as much.


Patty Brueneman Senior Graphic Designer at CommuniCare Health Services

I see more and more agencies that promote brand identity over anything else and that they can do this for your company…but at what cost! Many of them offer to change your business, but brand identity can’t be changed completely unless the company is willing to change or stand behind what they want to market…and many can’t see this. I see this as the trend now, but not for the future…we will be going more toward interactive agencies that do it all and have the staff to do it all.


Digital Marketing


David Rhoades Digital Group Account Director

Yes. The idea will hold whatever form.


paul MOGG film director + visual creator

i will say yes…

but then again many have been saying this for the last 15 or so.




Maria Atwood

I believe that traditional advertising agencies could possibly be extinct in the next 10 years.
‘Promote your Business’

As Koksal mentioned, I believe that there could definitely be a new form of the traditional advertising agency.

Maria Atwood


E-Commerce Network


Shailendra Sial SEM Specialist & Content Developer at Viscus Infotech

The transition of traditional media agencies into the digital ones is inevitable but their role in the bricks and mortar business will be the same. Thus they will be transformed but will not get extinct E.g. the hoardings will be replaced by digital boards but they will function in the same manner as the hoardings work. moreover, they will be capable of displaying different ads after some duration.


PJ Walker Digital Sales Director at Accenture

The art/science of advertising and branding is dependent on human behavior, which is why advertising has been alive and well since Greek playwrites advertised play openings and poetry readings on the building and walls of Athens. So, in short, as long as advertising and branding is rooted in how we respond to targeted stimuli, it will stick around.

I believe that right now, there is little to no distinction between traditional and digital agencies as most of the “traditional” agencies have either bought or created digital divisions. The smarter agencies have simply morphed into one-stop shops for any and all types of advertising. As the price of delivering via the digital medium decreases, I think we will see a reversal of who is targeted via the “traditional” ad methods (e.g., print – which will become more expensive) and “digital” (e.g., microsites – which will become less expensive). Compare it to using a high-end, glossy, monthly magazine (e.g., The Robb Report) to reach a wealthy target audience versus a weekly ezine (e.g., WhatCounts, OnlyOnce) distribution model.


Manish Kumar Manish Website

what we believe is that email marketing is the best and most successful way of marketing in today’s e-world


eMarketing Association Network


Amit Sarna CEO & Head – Biz. Dev @ PixelWorldIndia

@Koksal : Evolve or perish….tis the rule…e is the most used vowel and perhaps letter of the alphabet and the next decade will ensure that e prefixes all conventional activities. Branding 2001 = eBranding 2020 , Brochures 2000 = eBrochures 2010 etc. It’s not Nostradamus – it’s Darwin Dude.. TraDigital is the way it’s headed. My Tuppence


Charles Smee Founder / CEO at Transaction Focus. Strategic brand-orientated B2B sales & marketing professional.

Koksal, …I believe NO is the answer…because:-

Traditional multinational agencies will always be used for global brands i.e. Kellogg. The agency will be the brand steward / guardian.

Agencies such as Ogilvy have already totally reinvented themselves very successfully.

…but the heady days of TV advertising with high commission rates and extravagant film production costs are over…All agencies are under revenue pressure from all directions…

Many are being successful at importing “best of breed” talent and resource on a freelance, bespoke basis.

Have a pleasant evening…



Christopher Van Gompel Account Excutive at Vista Marketing Inc

I can’t see traditional ad agencies going anywhere, as a matter of fact I feel with more info out on the web, the clutter will lead to a backlash. Print isn’t going anywhere it will just get more targeted… Also if an agency can branch out to “new media” I think it will lead to a huge boom, with more info more info-control is needed.


simon lam software engineer at ITT

The high cost of TV and Print advertising is not sustainable due to huge traditional job loss. People just can’t afford to buy via middle agents, they want direct raw deals and do the refinement themselves. The eMarketing eMobil platforms offer people the power of negotiations, listen, bid and buy. The old days advertising is no longer effective and competitive.

The old newspapers and traditional advertising are not realtime, portable and interactive. People can now talk back to the advertisers and ask for better pricing, they can even create their discount coupons with the approval from the sales department via eMarketing gadgets and wireless devices.


Bora Başman Media Planner, MindShare


I believe that traditional media, will be a factor to multiply the brand awareness effect in the future. Digital platforms “only” will never be enough. So, agencies will have to innovate and rearrange their strategy. Digital platforms are so much overrated that people are starting to forget how important traditional media actually is. Adspend MAY be decreasing but it doesn’t change the fact that there will always be people who prefer traditional media to digital or the combination of both.

Traditional agencies will have to work hard to understand&adapt to digital platforms but they also can use traditional media for their advantage for at least 5-10 years.

Also, this may vary from country to country. I’m referring to Turkey, so this may be related to conservative/modern population percent, household income, education levels or so on.

I’d love to hear feedbacks, thanks.


Andy Detterline Solutions for Real Estate Marketing & Development, NAHB Certified Marketing Professional & Certified Sales Professional

Anything that doesn’t evolve will become extinct. We are just evolving faster than Charles Darwin could say “survivial of the fittest.” There will be fewer agencies because we can take care of our simpler creative needs ourselves. But most companies cannot afford to keep really creative minds sitting around on staff waiting to come up with a brilliant creative concept for a viral video or whatever the next new vehicle to spread their message will be. And they will have the resources to study what is the most effective new tool for reaching the right market. There is a lot of amateurish stuff being put out now. I think the best agencies will figure out how to provide services that companies need at a cost they are willing to pay for professionally produced creativity.


Simon Cameron Marketing and Advertising Professional

Totally agree with the last two comments, particularly Bora Basman’s belief that traditional media won’t disappear right away, but agencies will have to rethink their strategy on how to reach people. Interesting to note how democratic this whole space is becoming in that the individual has so many more resources available to him/her to create, target and deploy advertising without using a “traditional” agency. Just look at what Google TV ads is starting to do in terms of what it costs to reach a highly targeted audience and track results. This whole space is rapidly becoming far more affordable and relevant for a lot more advertisers.


Paull Murray Turning Ideas Into Profitable Action

It is a matter of resources. The finite resource is time. A successful company needs a reliable agency. In the end a good agency saves time, money and knows where to get the best positive impact for your brand.


Khahliso Santho Student at University of Cape Town

I have read what everybody has said and I think we are missing the continental and class implications of this debate. In more developed nations where there is large scope internet access then the future of newspapers and traditional advertising may become extinct. Whereas in developing nations, the ‘old school’ versions will have a longer lifespan. Then again, the global custodians of brands like Oglivy etc will have to adapt themslves to the consumer. So perhaps what is driving the need or change is the consumer and their needs and not the entire vortex of digital change because afterall, if the consumer was not using these avenues there would be no need to be even having this discussion now.


Jon Taylor Head of Etail Development at Hallmark Cards

Is there any such thing as a ‘traditional agency’ anymore? Havent’t they all diversified? Let’s face it, if they haven’t they deserve their fate…


Andreas Akesson Managing Director at Active Internet Consulting

I believe that the margins are getting smaller and that the traditional agencies seriously need to come to the conclusion that there is no space for generous agency discounts or commission fees (or monopoly in advertising space). The advertisers will demand a formula where payment is done according to performance….but what will be the evolution of BRANDING campaigns?? How will it be measured?? How will we handle in one way all performance based campaigns “online” and on the other hand measuring success of creative BRAND campaigns? For instance, how can we digitalize an event like Superbowl?

Today I found a stack of yellow pages on the street.Talk about a waist of paper!!! Yellow pages in the middle of Barcelona that no one are interested in!!
Classic Darwin example. The yellow pages offline is dead.


simon lam software engineer at ITT

Sure you can do “online” and “offline” things to beat the advertisers. It’s a fair game. The company can fire a permanent traditional agency and repalce it with three eMarketing contracters for the same cost. The overhead for eMarketers are low, and therefore they are much more efficient to ring in the sales.

The keyword is “Create Jobs” or “Create Incentives”, then the sales will follow. The traditional ads are just too heavy and much paper waste laden. People can touch iPhone, and a pizza order is generated and delivered next few minutes. The traditonal ad based employment is about 32 % nationally, so when you kill off it, you can get three times the new eMarketer jobs, a wooping 96% in new jobs and sales.

The drive-by free ads newspaper throwing into your drive way operation is really a pest. People have a hard time trying to call the print shop to stop the delivery when they going to vacations. The phone call to that ad agency’s number is unanswered. They don’t want those unwelcome newspaper rolls, but they know this is a status quo that they have to accept and tolerate. So many companies and fast food shoppe are using their home grown iPhone ad technology to connect to their customers and offer instant realtime coupons and specials. The days of paper yelllow pages are gone, and replaced by young pretty iPhone girls wanting a chat with you for their products and services.




Sylviane Loaec Indirect Procurement Director EMEA

With the economic tightens, customers are waiting for more added value and media companies will have to adapt and propose new strategy to fidelize their customers. Media companies are no more protected from price negotiations as previsously they use to be.

Less spent and gains measurement.

To stay competitive, the media companies will have to innovate


Krishna rao Independent Human Resources Professional

I think both digital and traditional methods will co-exist and will be used according to targeted groups and geographies.





Alex Fermin President/CEO at Local Sales

I have worked in the traditional media for the past 18 years. You are right ! change is inevitable. 98% of internet users are consumers looking for goods and services, new rules posted by the search engines indicated that they are looking for those services in a specific geographic area. We will see an increase of local retailers
entering the local branding via search engine marketing and using every tool available including video ads to attract the local customer. Agencies will have to adapt or they will be crush by the new wave of local branding companies.




Helen Rogers(Jia) VP of Business Development and Operation Management at Accelet Corporation

From my observation, the market needs a transformed advertising agency. The transformation includes not only what product portfolio they sell, but also how they sell it. More and more clients want to know what they get for what they paid. Playing with the “what-if” scenario and provide a 360 degree perspective of near and long term return is crucial.


Interactive Advertising Bureau Committee Group


Langston Richardson VP, Digital Brand Strategy / Creative, Lazbro

Answer to the question: No. They will be transformed and may take on new jargon and be described differently but the core needs and purposes of media channels and how brand marketers connect with them will remain.

Innovation or Irrelevancy.

twitter: @MATSNL65 @lazbro


Amanda Vega PR Maven, Owner of the Oldest Social Media Company, Interactive Marketing Expert, Published Author, Professional Speaker

I don’t think the traditional agency will be instinct per se, but like others have said, they will change their offerings, etc. Now, this only REALLY applies to ad agencies that aren’t really doing advertising. During these types of conversations, many are thinking of the “agency” down the street that really doesn’t do much more than place media buys, or build sites, or make general marketing recommendations. They forget the monster creative agency who provides a something that we find fascinating and special – the conception of clever campaigns from start to finish including copy, hiring of talent, messaging, scripting, and resonation to an end with the consumer.
Contributing author: The Social Media Bible
Oldest Social Media Management Company in the world

For example, I can think of a ton of “agencies” here in Phoenix and in NYC that don’t do this – and yes, they are making grave mistakes by not immersing themselves into any real new media with urgency. They also try to hire internally people to handle this and fail because of one simple thing: the two cultures don’t mesh. They sometimes “partner” with others, and work outside the digital’s process and kill the deal.

But then we work with an agency like Publicis Modem and see the incredible creative talent and campaigns they are creating from the ground up and all executed beautifully with their internal staff – and you see where the AGENCY has a value and place out there, and always will. Most of us in the digital space get the luxury of dealing with someone that has already created a brand, or at the least a brand position document – so we don’t have to start from scratch. The REAL agencies are the ones coming up with clever ideas like the FiberOne “this doesn’t have fiber” cool commercials – they concept it, write all the scripts, generate the visuals and nuances of those, and then get them out. THAT is a talent.

So, every company, agencies included, have to evolve. And instead of fighting it, they should embrace it. Us “digital folks” tend to be more nimble from the get-go because we deal with changes on a daily basis already. The traditional agencies haven’t had to do that – so it’s not easy for them. So many of them will logically go away. But the true agency will always have a place. Perhaps the tide will change and one day us digital folks will layer in creative that they produce (TV, etc.) into our services, and flip the coin.

Amanda Vega


Interactive Media Worldwide


Deana Riddle Managing Editor at New Vision Media

I think that there will be a hybrid. Social media service providers learn how to brand their clients, sell the client products / services (go beyond the technology) and ad agencies will have to learn how to use social media technologies (go beyond the branding, visuals, etc.)

While a lot of this is doing the same thing but with a different format / techniques … a lot of it isn’t. It also goes beyond formats and techniques. We’re talking strategies. Changes in or taking the best of and implementing new strategies.

Advertising has typically been a one-way, interuptive sales pitch. Today,
advertising has to be a two-way interaction where open communication forms respect, trust, and dare I say “fans” — which supposedly translates into direct or indirect sales.




Krishnamurthy Hegde GM-Web Solutions at Shoppers Stop Ltd

Traditional advertising agencies will switch over to marketing. As mass media will be taken over by interactive media, there will be hardly any room for ad agencies to play a role. While the existing ad agencies will make a transition, the new and aspiring enterprenuers will not even think about an ad agency for start-up.


Marketing Communication


Jeff Horning Marketing Manager at SourceForge, Inc.

I would agree. Though “extinct” is a very sobering and ‘absolute term, I think that those agencies solely supporting the realm of traditional advertising will be in dire straights. I see a rise in specialists, including innovative ad agencies and especially consultants and contractors.

And furthermore, I think that today’s social / collaborative technologies could provide a whole new way for those specialists to mobilize and provide services to companies in-need, but perhaps don’t have the slightest idea where or to whom to turn.


Randall Rensch Copywriter / Creative Director / Consultant

Sixty, seventy years ago, “traditional” agencies saw themselves as media- buyers. Strategic advice and creative development were thrown in as gravy. Once that began to change, it happened quickly, and the new “traditional” has survived for half a century.

Who would not agree that more change is coming? In fact, “traditional” advertising itself will be much changed 10 years from now. Even today’s digital media and social networks (not to mention the technology) will be very antiquated.

Disregarding for now the smaller agencies serving local and niche markets (who will probably always be with us), you’re right, large agencies will need to evolve, and are already doing so.

With the demise of printed newspapers and major magazines (or more to the point, with the demise of their being read), today’s traditional media offer less and less to support traditional agency skills. However, agency functions include much more than media buying, production services and branding. Ideally, their service as an objective marketing partner and social observer is likely to continue. So there will remain a role for major agencies themselves (evolved into the “new generation” of electronic communication, networking, interactivity, databasing, etc.) as long as marketers need to communicate with millions of people at a time, even if that communication is made to appear (or by then be?) one-to-one.


Jeff Horning Marketing Manager at SourceForge, Inc.

Well said, Randall. Change can be overwhelming and agents can serve as buffers, partners, workhorses, catalysts, and yes, scapegoats. Speaking of which, Mad Men is coming back on soon! 🙂


Online Advertising Professionals


Akbar Batcha Managing Director, Maxvision International

Hi Koksal,

Traditional one is already in transformation and perhaps in the process. To survive or succeed in this industry, agencies need to re-look into their services, capability and market trend along with consumer likes and dislikes. Tremendous pressue is on all agencies due to eroding profit margins. Certainly the traditional agencies will be out in 10 years period.


Social Media Marketing


Kim Soth Senior Director, Business Development at Axis41 and Marketing and Advertising Consultant

I don’t believe a traditional agency will go away. However, traditional agencies are now being held accountable for some form of ROI and must incorporate online strategies to make campaigns successful. With the world economy the way it is, it’s critical for agencies combine both traditional expertise with new innovations. I’m not talking about dabbling either. Agencies must bring in people who are experts in those new innovations.


Mark Norman Writer at EWineJunkies

If traditional agencies don’t adopt to a new society and a change in culture they will fail…some will adopt, others won’t!


Jamie Roy Connector

Do you believe traditional advertising agencies will be extinct in 10 years?

I do not think they will be extinct but the majority will be on the endangered species list. I see the news paper getting thinner and thinner by the year and for the first time ever this week I saw TV one here in NZ advertising to advertisers. Times are changing we are in for a very interesting 10 years.


Travel & Tourism E-Commerce


Luc Courtois Co-Founder, President, 180 Marketing

Well Koksal, I have been in this industry since 1977 BC (before computers) and I can honestly say the same question came up back then when the agency I worked for went from a staff of 60 down to 12 in a matter of months after computers became the tool of choice. No need for set-up artists, illustrators, typesetters… etc. Computers changed everything, but the so called traditional agency just looked very different.

Adapting is the key formula for any agency to survive. We ourselves have been forced to adapt on many occasions over the years. Digital photography, software advancements and websites, just to name a few. Now we’ve moved to online social media and more advanced interactive technologies to stay competitive. Part of the evolutionary chain.

In short I don’t think the traditional advertising agency will be dead in 10 years. If you ask any seasoned agency person they’ll tell you the traditional agency died back in the early 80’s and I would have to agree.



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