With the growth of commerce media, there is growing pressure for brands to spend directly with retailers — sometimes leaving agencies in an uncertain position.
With the increasing competition of retail media networks (RMNs), some marketers are feeling pressure to spend advertising dollars with retailers in order to access valuable store real estate and first-party data. This puts media agencies somewhere in between, trying to maintain their agent role as the retailer-marketer relationship evolves.
The reality is that those relationships are much more complex, rather resembling “a Bermuda Triangle, frankly,” explained April Carlisle, evp of commerce at Publicis media agency Spark Foundry. On the one hand, agencies are clients of retailers like Walmart Connect, its retail media platform — because they want to sell the agency on buying more media from them. At the same time, brands are clients of both the agencies and retailers.
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