Canadian Agency Roster Review – 2017


When it comes to agency search management and marketers reviewing agencies on their rosters, 2017 was an exceptionally busy year.

Globally, media reviews again took take center stage with the likes of Adidas, Amazon, Jaguar Land Rover, Lego, Microsoft and McDonald’s all calling global media reviews last year.

While the numbers may be smaller, Canada was no less frenetic as we tracked some 56 private sector agency reviews across AOR, media, digital and PR relationships. Government and ARB Ontario reviews which we didn’t track, push that number significantly higher.



Packaged Goods, Retail, Service and Travel related reviews combined to make up more than half of the total number reviews we tracked throughout the year.



One agency called to ask us whether we were able to extrapolate win / loss ratios from the agency reviews we tracked but we maintain that given the number of variables in an agency review process that kind of statistic will always remain tantalizingly elusive.

That said, independent agencies appeared to hold their own when it came to the majority of Canadian reviews, representing just over 60% of the wins we tracked.


Much as we’d like it to be, none of this is an exact science. Not all agency reviews are reported, budgets aren’t always disclosed and participating agency names are frequently withheld.


While the number of media agency reviews may not have played as much of a role in the overall search landscape as we expected, we believe questions from transparency related media issues is a significant factor in Canadian marketers asking questions about the agencies on their rosters. We refer to this as ‘smoke damage’.

Whether ‘smoke damage’ leads to an uptick in agency reviews or just an uptick in contractual reviews for 2018 remains be seen. What we can say is that if 2018 is anything like 2017 it’s going to be an exceptionally busy year.

What’s your plan for the agencies on your roster this year?


Stephan Argent is a founding partner of LE RICHE ARGENT, Canada’s leading Agency Search and Media Management consultancy. Read more like this on our blog ‘Marketing Unscrewed’. Follow me on Twitter @StephanArgent


Background vector created by Kreativkolors –