Skip to content

A Guide to Managing Agencies in These Uncertain Times


These continue to be uncertain times, indeed ...


as most advertisers and agencies continue to move through varying states of flux , depending on their industry.

For some, the change has been dramatic. For others, it has been incremental. 

But for almost all of us, it’s important to effectively manage processes and resources to retain and rebuild advertising ecosystems. We must prepare to fully return to building great brands as markets re-open.

While the impact of the pandemic varies across the business and global landscape, many advertisers face disruptions, including:

  • Corporate cut-backs of advertising budgets
  • Trade, consumer and business disruption
  • Remote workforces trying to navigate this unprecedented time
  • Agencies temporarily cutting back on staff and other resources
  • Production houses scaling back ahead of rebuilding
  • Holding companies issuing new financial forecasts for the year
  • Unclear timelines for any business expecting to return to “normal” 
Whatever your level of disruption, we can help in very practical ways to manage your agency investments through these uncertain times.  We guided many of our clients through the global financial crisis of 2007-08 and we can help you now. 



Here are some suggested programs that we are currently working through with clients – we hope they provide some guidance:

Understand the Current and Historical Landscape

Understand all your agency spend & performance data:

  • Find opportunities within the recent & historical data that may not have otherwise been considered.
  • Assess the data through the lens of the pandemic impact.
  • Where do you see opportunities for active agency management across all markets?
  • What is the current budget situation and how do scopes, reconciled data and associated PO’s need to be adjusted?
  • What budget processes need to be adjusted, eg approvals by who, by when, how, process flow requirements, etc?


Assess Your Agency Risk Profile


Review the risk profile of your agencies:
  • Are they maintaining adequate staffing and resources?
  • Has there been notable staff movements?
  • Is remote working in place and effective?
  • What % of income do you represent? 
  • Are they financially stable?
  • Are they able to provide new ways to develop creative products – shoots, asset utilization, etc?
  • Are they adjusting to virtual pitches?
  • Are your larger agencies adjusting as markets move through a cycle of contraction and re-opening?

Assess Your Agency’s Readiness to Re-engage in the Future


Understand the preparedness of all your agencies to gear-up again:  

  • In preparation for  the second half of 2020 and 2021...
  • Do they have a time-frame and plan to return to full staffing levels, as economic activity returns to a new ‘normal’?
  • What is there financial readiness to support client business, including restarting payment terms?
  • What is the production partner readiness – production houses, film crews, photographers, actors, etc?
  • What timing is needed to bring an asset to life, if starting from ground zero?


We are working closely with many clients to make adjustments where they are needed, and to help them capture information to prepare for more change and growth.  A proactive approach in partnership with their agencies gives them  the best opportunity to manage effectively through uncertain times.    


For more information about how we can help, please email or contact us here.


Decideware Professional Services