The best way to keep clients from going in-house, Roth said, is an “agnostic approach” to media buying.
In an apparent shot at WPP, he emphasized IPG’s media agencies are transparent on the margins it takes from media buys. (The exception, Roth acknowledged, is Orion Trading, IPG’s bartering business that lets clients partially fund their media campaigns with their assets.)
“Some clients believe that as long as there’s a wall up and they’re getting what they paid for in terms of response, then they’re comfortable with it,” Roth said. “Other clients seem to think there’s something inherently wrong with that.”
Roth indicated, however, that if its clients stop caring about transparency, “obviously we’ll rethink our model.”
“This is still a new market,” Roth concluded. “Our goal is to be 50% automated, and that’s not just programmatic, it’s the entire way we approach buying media. Right now our programmatic buying is growing [and] we’re making margins on it. Our clients are pleased with what we’re delivering in terms of our targeted marketing and dollar spend.”