Wild, wild west

Louise Flaig

Interactive technology seems to change with each passing day. Users have gone from simply reading newspaper content online to watching streaming video to interacting in virtual communities to having news and weather alerts sent directly to their mobile devices.

Not surprisingly, these changes have resulted in myriad new advertising opportunities and a steady diet of work for agencies focused on guiding advertisers through the wired and wireless marketing landscape. But interactive marketing is an area of agency-client relations that's still in its infancy, notes Mary Conrad, the general manager of the Chicago office of Jones Lundin Beals, a company specializing in agency search and selection. “It's very much the wild, wild west,” she says.

That was one of the key findings of the 2007 ANA Interactive Agency Compensation Study, conducted by Jones Lundin Beals. Based on a survey of more than 100 ANA members who collectively spend in excess of $100 billion on advertising in the U.S., the study brought to light how companies work with, compensate, and engage with interactive agencies. “We did our first survey on interactive agency compensation in 2005,” notes Bill Duggan, executive vice president of the ANA. “Due to the rapid changes in the environment for interactive advertising, ANA members urged us to update this survey, leading to this current work.”