New holding companies are on the rise

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This week: A new holding company boom, ad industry salaries, and hiring trends.

New holding companies rising

While the mature ad holding companies have been winnowing their operations in the downturn, newer spins on the holding company are on an expansion tear. The latest is You & Mr. Jones, which acquired influencer firm Collectively. It follows Sir Martin Sorrell-led S4 Capital saying it would combine forces with Amazon specialist Orca Pacific and Gary Vaynerchuk adding an e-commerce agency earlier this year.

Key points:

  • The holding companies aren't going away, but these deals are an early indication of how these new groups are acting on their promise of being able to respond better to clients.
  • The Collectively deal also speaks to the endurance of influencer marketing, despite its doubters who wondered if influencers trading in aspiration would still resonate with people in pandemic times.
  • People are using social media more while they're trapped at home, and many influencers have pivoted to at-home content. They're a fast way for brands to turn around campaigns, and retailers are turning to them to coax people back in stores. While traditional ad budgets are cut, You & Mr. Jones said its influencer platform soared 50% in the first half of 2020 versus the year-ago period.

Read the rest here: You & Mr. Jones just acquired influencer agency Collectively and said the business is on track to grow at least 30% in the next year as advertisers flock to creator-led marketing 

Top ad industry salaries

Not surprisingly in this economy, some of our most-read stories this week have been around jobs and pay.

The ad industry has been shedding jobs as advertisers have slashed spending in the face of the downturn.

But the companies that live off ad spending still employ thousands of people, adtech companies in particular, and often pay lofty salaries, according to US Office of Foreign Labor Certification's 2019 disclosure data for permanent and temporary foreign workers analyzed by Patrick Coffee, Lauren Johnson, and Alex Nicoll.

For example:

  • Roku paid a senior software designer for its ad platform up to $350,000, while The Trade Desk paid a senior software engineer up to $265,000.
  • And according to headhunters specializing in the ad industry, ad pros are still in demand, particularly among independent agencies and brands. Healthcare advertising is one of the few areas that's held up during the economic downturn, and WPP paid healthcare executives $178,000.

Read the full stories here:

Adtech salaries revealed: How much The Trade Desk, Roku and others pay employees, from software engineers to product managers 

Top ad industry salaries, revealed: How much the biggest holding companies including WPP, Publicis, and Omnicom pay employees, from junior account directors to global creative leads

 

Advertising hiring trends

Michael Kaminer talked to the top headhunters working in advertising, who had some interesting things to say about the state of the business. Some takeaways:

  • Small and midsize agencies are actively hiring, as are brands that are taking their advertising in-house.
  • Hirers are especially looking for candidates with varied skill sets, can work remotely, and help them diversify their workforces.
  • Candidates are holding firms' feet to the fire, too, increasingly asking about their commitment to diversity and cultural issues.

Read the rest here: 13 top advertising headhunters to know right now

Other stories we're reading:

  • All the major leadership shakeups at WarnerMedia since AT&T bought Time Warner — from HBO Max to DC
  • Inside McDonald's year of scandals and its race to fix its reputation as the fast-food giant sues its ex-CEO over alleged sexual relationships with employees
  • 10 YouTube creators break down their exact monthly incomes from the platform — from under $600 to over $140,000
  • A former Bloomberg News reporter says in a new lawsuit that editors 'censored' stories to boost the company's sales in the United Arab Emirates
  • Amazon looks to convert JCPenney and Sears stores in malls into distribution centers
  • Silicon Valley scooter startup Bird bet big on Paris and lost to rivals. Insiders are betting on consolidation.

So long and see you next week!

— Lucia

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