IPA launches pledge to facilitate better relationships between agencies and tech start-ups

Facilitated by the IPA, with contributions from leading industry innovators, a ten-point pledge was launched at Advertising Week Europe endorsed by the IPA’s Director General, Paul Bainsfair, that agencies can sign up to and share with tech start-ups to demonstrate their commitment to an open, fair, and jointly beneficial partnership.

The pledge is accompanied by a unique Good Practice Toolkit comprised of practical tips for both agencies and tech start-ups, including a four-part checklist that can be reviewed before, during and post initial project scope meetings.

Says Nigel Gwilliam, Consultant Head of Media and Emerging Technology, IPA: "There is tremendous potential in collaboration between agencies and tech start-ups. But the very differences that make each attractive to the other can cause misunderstandings. With the help of a spectrum of experts in the field we have produced this best practice toolkit to maximise potential and minimise friction."

Says Lawrence Weber, Managing Partner Innovation, Karmarama and Chair of the IPA Brand Tech Group: "In a world where innovation is an expected part of business as usual rather than a peripheral value add, start-ups are a key partner for every type of agency. This best practice toolkit will help agencies understand how to be good, long term partners to small, high growth businesses and help start-ups find agencies serious about working with them.”

Says Hannah Blake, Business Development Lead, Founders Factory: "The proliferation of technology and fragmentation of the market has meant that the volume of start-up, brand and agency partnership opportunities has hugely increased. Traditional media businesses are currently not set up to work with new partners in an effective way and these guidelines, developed by people who have experienced the aches and pains of navigating this world, go some way to really help start-ups and big corporates work together. Whilst these guidelines will be immediately most helpful to start-ups, I have no doubt that it is the brands and agencies who will really benefit in years to come."

Says Emily Forbes, Founder, Seenit: “Agencies have the global access, insight, and trust with some of the largest brands and organisations in the world and on the other side the start-ups are agile and can quickly innovate with the huge potential to scale. However as straight forward and dreamy as it all sounds there are a few complications which mean a best practice toolkit will not only be hugely valuable to get more partnerships off the ground, but will also help shine a light on the difficulties that need to be tackled from both sides and that to really go forward it is a collaborative effort.”

Contributors David Caygill, Creative Technology Director, iris Worldwide; Jim Kite, Global Head of Partnerships, Business Transformation, Publicis Media; Tom New, Co-Founder, Formisimo; Lawrence Weber, Managing Partner Innovation, Karmarama and Hannah Blake, Development Lead, Founders Factory, joined the author of the guide, Dominic Mills for a panel discussion at Advertising Week Europe where they shared their good and bad experiences on past collaborations. If you missed it, you can watch the replay of the session here.

Download the free Best Practice Toolkit here.

For further insights into the agency/tech start-up relationship, visit the IPA’s Emerging Futures medium. You can also download the IPA’s Agencies and Tech Start-ups: The State of Play guide, published last year, featuring a collection of articles written by some of the leading industry innovators, tech start-ups, agencies and expert intermediaries, on the realities of agency/tech start-up interaction, here

The IPA would like to thank its full list of Agencies and Start-up project contributors, including:

Lawrence Weber, Karmarama; Jim Kite, Publicis Media; David Caygill & Matt Rebeiro Iris Nursery; Justin Cross, Mediacom; Dan Machen, Hey Human; Felix Morgan, Livity; Rose Lewis, Collider; Ken Valledy, Tech2Brand; Hannah Blake, Founders Factory; David Pattison, Rezonence; Richard Fearn, The Friday Club; Nicole Yershon, Innovation People; Jeremy Bassett, Unilever Foundry; Christina Richardson, OpenR; Emily Forbes, Seenit; Paul Archer, Duel.me; Tom New, Formisimo; Dominic Mills, Industry commentator.


Last updated 21 January 2022