Will Oliver and Mr Jones live happily ever after?


Simon Francis

Advertisers are under increasing pressure to deliver more marketing content faster and for less. This has put pressure on their agencies, and also has driven advertisers to re-assess other ways of working, including in-sourcing and in-housing of marketing content production. In-sourcing is the creation of a team inside the advertiser of employed staff to create marketing content. In-housing is the employment of an agency to provide staff to sit inside the advertiser to provide marketing content (sometimes called an on-site agency).

New agency models have been developed to service the in-housing boom. Oliver was designed specifically to provide in-housed resources to client such as Unilever or Starbucks. It has now been bought by the BrandTech group, owners of You and Mr Jones.

It is interesting that Oliver was not acquired by an out-sourcing company like Accenture, who are building a network of agencies around customer experience delivery. It’s also interesting to note Oliver was not acquired by a traditional agency holding company like WPP,  who are building their own offerings e.g. Wunderman Inside.

Only time will tell whether Oliver will succeed in its new relationship, and can continue to grow. Certainly success is predicated on finding and keeping great talent and much will depend on how well that key talent responds to the change of ownership and whether additional new talent can be brought in to support growth. Another consideration is whether the Oliver commercial model should or could be refined within the BrandTech Group to ensure customers get the promised benefits of in-sourcing across their full scope of work, including work required over and above the retained scope. Whilst the marriage of Oliver and You & Mr Jones sounds on paper like a happy match, the proof will be how the relationship fares when both parties are sharing a corporate home.

Flock are involved in many of the world’s most interesting in-housing and in-sourcing projects, for clients such as Shell, Walmart, Toyota/Lexus, and Ford. We also helped to lead the Campaign USA in-house agency debate.

If you’d like further details please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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