Definitions

ad agency

Agency.com

Agency.com is an interactive marketing agency based in New York City with offices worldwide. The company is a part of Omnicom Group Inc. and has approximately 500 employees in eleven offices on three continents. Services include website design and development, interactive marketing, search marketing and rich media development.

Company History

On February 10, 1995, Agency.com was incorporated by Chan Suh and Kyle Shannon to provide website development and interactive marketing services. Omnicom Group Inc. purchased a significant minority investment in 1996, providing capitalization for growth into the rapidly expanding market for interactive services. Online Magic, a UK-based interactive marketing firm established by ad agency DDB was acquired in 1998 to provide Agency.com with its first international location.

In 1998, the company merged with Eagle River Interactive to form what was, at the time, the largest interactive marketing agency in the world. Other acquisitions in 1998 included Spiral Media in New York and Interactive Solutions in Boston. In 1999 the company acquired iTraffic to bolster its online marketing services offering. Digital Vision Communications was acquired in 1999 in order to give the company a full service presence in the Chicago market.

In December of that year, the company went public, and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange as ACOM. Initiated in 2001 and completed in 2003, the outstanding shares of the company were purchased by Omnicom Group, Inc. to take the company private again.

In 2004, iTraffic was absorbed into the Agency.com operating structure. That same year, the company also acquired Exile on Seventh and absorbed its Internet marketing operations into its San Francisco office.

In 2005 the company passed its 10 year anniversary of incorporation and was named “Best Creative Agency” by OMMA Magazine, and “B-to-B Interactive Agency of the Year” by BtoB Magazine. The 2006 Forrester Wave Report identified Agency.com as one of the top 3 European Interactive agencies.

Industry Recognition

Following are some key awards and recognitions of distinction earned by the company:

  • “Revolution Awards Agency of the Year, 2007”
  • 2007 Effie Awards Gold Medal Winner, Retail Campaign, eBay” Effie Awards
  • “Cannes Cyber Lions 2006 – Online Advertising Finalist, British Airways, Dulux” IPA
  • “2005 Interactive Agency of the Year“ B-to-B Magazine
  • “Best Full-Service Interactive Agency, 2000” ADWEEK

Viral Marketing Controversy

A 2006 ad campaign by Agency.com involved an experimental "viral" pitch video for the Subway (restaurant) account uploaded onto YouTube.com. The purpose of the pitch video upload appears to have been an attempt to show Subway Agency.com's online innovation by including a "viral" component in the pitch by documenting the pitch process itself and uploading it for all the world to see, discuss, and pass around. The term, "When we roll, we roll big" was used by an Agency.com employee in the video.

Judged by comments posted on industry blogs like AdRants, AdWeek Magazine's AdFreak, Leo Burnett's Fruits of Imagination and Iain Tait's Crackunit.com the vast majority of industry response to Agency.com’s tactic has been overwhelmingly negative. Many comments on YouTube have also noted that the positive comments that were made by YouTube members who have had accounts that, in many cases, were just hours old, adding to suspicion that the positive “buzz” on the YouTube site was merely Agency.com employees patting themselves on their virtual backs.

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References

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