Four years after setting up its own in-house agency, Agency Inside, Intel is scaling it down as it “recalibrates” its marketing strategy in a move that appears to buck a trend towards in-housing.

According to reports, only a third of the 90 staff will be retained in what was Ad Age’s 2017 In-house Agency of the Year, responsible for moving beyond the brand’s sonic signature and changing how consumers regarded the chipmaker with commercials featuring the likes of Lady Gaga and Tom Brady and breaking the record for the most UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones) airborne simultaneously.

As CMO Steve Fund observed at an ANA conference last year: “We’ve reversed the ... [negative] trend across every brand metric, and we’ve grown our brand value in the past two years after several years of decline” – and boosted market cap along the way.

But now Intel says it is “recalibrating our marketing strategy to be more B2B and ecosystem-focused”.

“Agency Inside was founded to tell the brand’s untold stories to consumers and to bring brand awareness on a global scale,” Teresa Herd, vice president and global creative director at Intel, explained to Adweek.

“If telling brand stories won’t move business in the ways that Intel wants it to move, then the org’s focus as it stands today no longer fits into the overall marketing concept.”

There is speculation that this shift could benefit Intel’s existing external agencies, such as TBWA which handles B2B, in a development that runs counter to the prevailing trend.

A few weeks ago, the ANA released a report highlighting “the explosive growth of in-house agencies”, which it described as “one of the most significant trends in the advertising and marketing industry today”.

That study showed that 78% of participating ANA members now have in-house agencies – a major increase on the 2013 findings (58%) and the total disclosed ten years ago (42%).

Medialink’s Nick Manning, speaking at the 2018 Automated Trading Debate in London last week, argued that the in-housing debate “is much more led by the need to manage data than it is by the economies you can get .

“In-housing is about having the motive to manage the supply chain: knowing exactly what technologies you’re using and why, how much they cost, how much data sits within that, and knowing that the data is secure.”

Sourced from AdAge, Adweek, Mediatel; additional content by WARC staff