Matthew Miller
Dec 11, 2017

The 5 issues that defined 2017 in APAC adland

Our listicle-based look back at the year in APAC marketing and communications continues, with 2017's biggest ongoing themes, including gender equity, the threat consulting companies pose, and more.

The 5 issues that defined 2017 in APAC adland

In the last couple weeks before the holidays, we're taking a look back at 2017—listicle style. Today, the year's biggest topics of ongoing interest—the subjects that we found popping up again and again. So much so that we created archives of coverage for each one.

1. Gender equality

Gender in the industry was a major point of emphasis for Campaign this year. From International Womens Day in March, to our own full-day conference about gender (Campaign360, where we got several top agencies to sign a Mandate for Change and published exclusive research about the experiences of women in adland), all the way through to the explosion of harassment stories late in the year, we've been presenting a wide range of views on gender equity in the workplace. And we're not about to quit now.

2. Consultants invade adland?

Large consultancies continue to move into the marketing-communications space by buying creative agencies. Accenture's purchase of The Monkeys (pictured) is the most prominent recent example, and the company claims it wants to be the world's biggest 'experience agency of record'. Meanwhile, Sir Martin Sorrell proclaims that the threat from consultancies has been overhyped, creative-agency heads seem to feel that they have a monopoly on creative talent (or that consulting-company office are like Krypton for creatives) and agencies are making their own moves to boost their claim on providing consulting services.

3. Brand safety

When major companies found their ads appearing against extremist videos in the spring, brand safety went from being a minor concern given lip service by platforms and adtech companies to being a major explosive issue.  

4. Overwork and overtime

Though it stretches back to 2015, the overwork controversy surrounding the suicide of a Dentsu employee continued into 2017, when the company was formally fined. We covered all the milestones in that story, including Dentsu's moves to address its company culture. We also broadened the view to the industry as a whole, launching a survey which we'll be sharing the results from early next year.

5. Artificial intelligence

Whether you believe it's the end of the CMO, the creative director, our industry and perhaps human life on this planet, or simply a tool that will be useful to CMOs, creative directors, our industry and human life on this planet, AI was the term on everyone's lips, and our headlines, for much of the year. We wrote about new AI-related tools, looked at how AI was having an actual impact in real marketing situations and hosted a number of opinions that demonstrate how the industry is getting to grips with what is sure to remain an important tech development. 

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