Tim Castree, GroupM’s CEO/North America, believes that the agency industry is taking more than its fair share of hits as consumers and clients grapple with questions of trust in the marketing ecosystem.

“We’re getting a lot of people whose business models accelerate the most distrust they can ferment,” he said at the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) 2019 Decisions 20/20 Conference.

“We’re getting [criticism from] a lot of consultants, we’re getting it from a lot of lawyers … There are a lot of people in there selling their services who are absolutely incentivized to ferment that distrust.”

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Tim Castree, CEO/North America,GroupM

In the face of such determined opposition, Castree continued, agencies need to coalesce over the understanding that third-party complaints “far exceed the reality” of the advertising-agency business. “There is a lot [of] hammering about the trust thing,” he told the 4A’s gathering in suburban Washington, DC.