Location is no hindrance to agency success asserts new IPA England & Wales chairman Reid

Agencies must capitalise on the growing success taking place beyond the M25, new IPA Chairman for England & Wales Andy Reid asserted in his inaugural speech in Manchester.

As IPA Chairman for England and Wales, Reid will represent and galvanise 81 UK advertising agencies (based outside of London, Northern Ireland and Scotland) who collectively employ almost 5,000 people and bring in over £200million in revenue per year.

Says Reid: “According to recent stats, profits of companies headquartered outside of London are soaring. In addition, the BBC has moved to Salford with enormous success; and the Government is devolving more power to the regions, with the introduction of city and now metro mayors. What this shows is that location outside of London is no hindrance to delivering national and international success.

“It can also be a real advantage when working with local clients – as a recent piece of proprietary research from McCann revealed: 60% of Brits said that they prefer a local brand and nearly a third of Scots would refuse to buy a brand that holds different political views to their own.

“In my role as Chair, I think it is imperative that we capitalise on this increasing power. We must use the opportunity to assert our value and to showcase to clients and to new talent that we are a credible alternative to a London agency.”

To achieve this, Reid explained to the packed industry audience, requires a new identity – uniting under the collective term ‘Outer Circle’ agencies, coupled with a three-pronged action plan to demonstrate effectiveness, advance commercial acumen, and attract and retain the finest talent. Specifically:

1.     Demonstrable Effectiveness – Double the number of entries into the IPA Effectiveness Awards from Outer Circle agencies, which currently stand at 5% of total entries. The IPA Effectiveness Awards are the most prestigious and demanding in the industry in which agencies must provide compelling evidence that their work has met its goals, and has created measurable financial value for the brand. Entering will provide a greater bank of tangible evidence of Outer Circle agency success. The IPA will therefore be running workshops for these areas to help them navigate the process.

2.    Commercial Excellence – the IPA will bring highlights from its Business Growth Conference to Manchester where leading commercial experts will equip Outer Circle agencies with the knowledge and practical steps to demonstrate they are commercially successful, sustainable, well-run businesses.

It will also encourage Outer Circle agencies to complete the annual IPA Commercial Behaviours Survey, which brings to light the practices of the agencies with the greatest revenue per head, per year, and the IPA Census.

Moving forward, as well as detailing the make-up of the employed base of agencies, the Census will include questions regarding charge-out rates, overhead costs and operating profits, which will make the research even more powerful for regional agencies. 

3.    Professional Talent – the IPA for England and Wales will promote the industry to the most talented individuals no matter where they live and give them a better understanding of the great agencies operating in the regions.  This will be achieved by encouraging member agencies to partake in Advertising Unlocked – taking place across the UK on 29 September - by opening up their doors to anyone curious about a career in advertising.

Equally, once in the industry, the IPA for England and Wales will encourage more agencies to sign up to the IPA’s comprehensive MIPA scheme - a learning-based personal membership programme, designed to put advertising on the same professional footing as accountancy, architecture and the law.

Says Reid: “We are a diverse, fragmented collection of ‘Outer Circle’ agencies, and so by branding ourselves collectively we have a clear identity, united through the IPA, where we can work together to celebrate our creativity and the difference it makes to our clients’ businesses, the commercial and sustainable success of our agencies, and to our people.

“It is an exciting time to be taking on the IPA Chairmanship for England and Wales; I really do believe that agencies get the clients they deserve. We are now beginning to see our Outer Circle agencies actively demonstrating that through the exciting work and successful businesses we have built over recent years, we deserve the best clients and talent.”

Andy Reid, who also holds the position of MD of McCann in Bristol, succeeds the Chairmanship from Ben Quigley Group, Chief Executive, Everything Different.

In taking up the role of Chairman for the IPA for England Wales, Reid relinquishes his role as IPA City Head for Bristol to Tim Jones, Managing Director, True.

Says Tim Jones: “Businesses, brands and agencies are in an age of unprecedented disruption. As the IPAs Future of Agencies report highlights, agencies are at risk of being squeezed by Management Consultancies and in-housing agendas. We must change or be left behind. I believe the IPA has a crucial role to play in influencing and equipping agencies to thrive in this new era of marketing. Our new IPA President Sarah Golding’s Magic and the Machines agenda advocates we embrace this disruption and the potential that technology brings. Fresh creativity, strategic and innovative approaches are going to be essential to achieving this. Bristol and The South West, has an amazing hotbed of creative and tech talent, but our industry needs to work harder make it more attractive for younger, more diverse talent, and help our people learn, develop and thrive in this new era. It’s an exciting time to be part of the advertising and marketing communities, and I’m keen to play a role in helping to ensure our agencies evolve and our people can be best they can be.”

Join the conversation at #IPAOuterCircle

Last updated 21 January 2022