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Do UK Ad Agencies Lag On Behavioural Science?

Trend Summary: Few ad agencies in the UK are making behavioural science a key part of their offering.

It's almost eight years since OgilvyOne's Executive Creative Director Rory Sutherland first advocated the use of behavioural advertising whilst, meantime, American agencies are ...

... speeding ahead while UK agencies drag their heels.

According to Mark Bell, chief experience officer at Oliver Group UK, few British agencies have made behavioural science a key element in their offering.  

Says Bell: "Walk into any agency on Madison Avenue and you’ll see they operate differently. American agencies do a fabulous job of weaving behavioural economics into their upfront strategy."

"It’s evident in the clear distinction they make between behavioural planners and traditional comms planners. And it’s a smart approach too: the research comes first, so strategists can identify the behavioural theory that can inform the creative.

Bell argues that agencies in the UK are well equipped to be putting out the same level of work – "but we’re held back by our tendency to remain rooted in traditional agency structures".

He adds: "Aside from the behavioural wing of Ogilvy & Mather UK and Ogilvy Change, plus our own efforts at Oliver, there’s a sense that British agencies are too set in their ways to capitalise on how behavioural science could enhance their output".

Read the original unabridged article.

[Estimated timeframe:Q1 2017]

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