Friday, April 20, 2018
  • Monday, Oct. 9, 2017
AICE Cautions Advertisers About The Real Cost of Agency In-House Production and Post
AICE's "Skip Ad" postcard was included in event bags distributed to attendees at last week's ANA Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando, Fla. A web address,, appears on one side of the card, leading folks to a video titled "Trophy Case" which cautions advertisers about the pitfalls of opting for agency in-house production and post.
Group reaches out to ANA members with video that shows substituting for talent, quality of outside vendors can hurt branding, undermine great creative
  • ORLANDO, Fla.
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The AICE, the postproduction trade association, last week continued a mini-tradition of making an industry splash at the annual ANA (Association of National Advertisers) Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando. AICE has distributed a unique conversation piece pertaining to agency in-house production and post each of the past two years at the ANA confab.

Last year, attendees arriving at the ANA conference found in their event registrant bags a clear, acetate postcard from the AICE calling for transparency when it comes to agency in-house production and post. In that piece, the AICE contended that agencies and their holding companies were resorting to troubling business practices in order to keep brands’ production and post work in-house. As it turned out, just a couple of months later, news came out that the U.S. Department of Justice had initiated an investigation of video production and postproduction bidding practices--specifically to determine whether ad agencies have been unfairly directing business to their in-house production and post departments over outside vendors.

Fast forward to last week’s ANA Masters of Marketing Conference and the AICE contribution to each delegate bag was an oversized postcard with a “Skip Ad” button on one side and a web address on the other. The web address leads those interested to a video titled “Trophy Case” which illustrates what happens when clients put great ideas in the hands of agency in-house production and post departments rather than entrusting them to outside vendors. The AICE contends that production and post professionals offer a much higher level of quality and talent than what an in-house operation can provide. The AICE video shows creative and marketing effectiveness awards disappearing one by one from a trophy display, conjuring images of the success that might have been. Bypassing the production and post house communities for the agency in-house option, claims the AICE, can undermine a great idea, relegating it to forgettable, mediocre content. A supered message at the end of the “Trophy Case” video reads, “Agencies pushing to work in-house may not have your best interests in-mind.”

Agencies have contended that in-house production has been ramped up based on client needs. Once clients started doing more online content--which entails tighter budgets and pressing, sometimes immediate deadlines--this necessitated agencies going the in-house route on varied projects while still seeking outside vendors for more ambitious work.

However, the production and post communities have expressed concern over in-house business practices which they allege threaten the future of independent companies--and result in loss of quality for the messaging of brand marketers, translating into missed opportunities for brands to meaningfully connect with an audience.

Credits for ScreenWork: 

An AICE project, which first gained exposure at the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference