ANA/4A’s Agency Search Simplification Report | Research Reports | Research Studies | All MKC Content | ANA

ANA/4A’s Agency Search Simplification Report


The agency search/pitch process has become fraught with concerns by both agencies and clients. Both sides recognize the complexity of the process yet aspire for an opportunity to reach a mutually agreeable solution. The ANA and the 4A's identified the agency search process as one that needs to be honed to best business practices in order to benefit the industry.

In late 2021, the ANA and the 4A's developed a joint working group to understand the challenges with agency search and consider how it could be enhanced. Based on the feedback from the working group, in February 2022, the ANA and the 4A's surveyed their respective members to understand the various pain points in the agency search process, as well as their value (or lack thereof) to the overall process.

The survey, completed by both agencies and clients, addressed key components of the search process, including:

  • Standards for constructing a comprehensive RFI
  • Budget disclosure
  • Clear criteria for agency success
  • Identification and participation of key client decision-makers
  • Use of an agency search consultant
  • "Chemistry meetings"
  • Agency ownership of any IP/work product produced during the review process
  • Timely and actionable client feedback

This report contains the results of that survey, as well as key findings, conclusions, and next steps. Ultimately, the ANA and the 4A's will continue to work together to develop resources and tools to assist clients and agencies in making the search process simpler.

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"ANA/4A's Agency Search Simplification Report." ANA and 4A's, 9/29/22.