In-house agencies are increasingly popular as marketers seek greater control, speed, efficiency and flexibility. The trend for in-house agencies has been driven by digital strategies which demand real-time reactions, as well as faster content production and distribution. While in-house agencies can be highly responsive and have greater brand knowledge, external agency relationships still have strategic importance. Traditional agencies need to evolve to meet the time and data demands of modern marketers. But the value of their expertise should not be underestimated.


In-house agencies are internal resources established by advertisers to manage and deliver advertising content and campaigns, work which has traditionally been outsourced to external advertising agencies.

Key insights

1. People are divided on the merits of creative in-housing

Companies appear more tentative about creative than media in-housing, perceiving external agencies to hold the advantage. For example, Fernando Machado, global chief marketing officer at Burger King has expressed the point of view that creatives need to think about more than one thing at a time to avoid boredom and he would worry about absorbing them into corporate culture. On the other hand, while agreeing avoidance of boredom needs to be managed, Matt Knapp Executive Creative Director at Dollar Shave Club - after moving from a traditional agency background - has seen lots of positives that benefit the business, such as:

  • Creatives becoming critical problem-solvers not just advertising people
  • Speed and greater protection of ideas
  • Freedom to follow your own path in addressing the brief, enabling the creation of something better the client didn’t think to ask for
  • Ability to disagree with the most senior people because you’re on the same team and get a hearing
  • Deadlines of your own creation which leads to less stressed creatives