Why Media Agencies Don't Need Separate Units For Social Media

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

Ad Age, 7/20/10

Interpublic’s Universal McCann, Publicis’ Vivaki Are Building Out Separate Units for Social Media. Should They? Why Media Agencies Don’t Need Separate Units For Social Media

As marketers shift budgets from traditional media that they buy through advertising to the more labor-intensive social media, it’s natural that media agencies would want to grab a piece of that action. This week we learned from the Wall Street Journal that Interpublic’s Universal McCann and Publicis Groupe’s Vivaki are building out entire divisions dedicated to social media.

But is that a good idea? No, for two reasons that I’ll get to in a minute. But first, a disclaimer: I spend the last year as social-media manager at McCann Erickson (Universal McCann’s sibling agency within Worldgroup). In other words, until I joined Advertising Age last week, I was that guy.

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