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August 19, 2014 // 3:00 AM

The Advertising Agency Networks and Associations You Need to Know

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agency-owner

Running an agency can be lonely business.

But it’s not the type of lonely you feel during a remote hike at dawn.

It’s the type of quiet in the eye of a tornado, everything swirling and swarming around you — pulling at you from every direction.

Clients email you. Staffers send messages over your chat board. Vendors and freelancers want to partner. Students want advice. A friend of a friend wants a job.

Everyone wants to know what he should do, how he should do it, and how you can help.

Agency owners need help, too — advice, consulting, access to information, and training. And reading another blog post or book on running a successful business doesn’t always provide the answer.

You need advice from someone who has been there before — someone who understands the complexities, politics, and processes of running a marketing firm.

For agency owners, joining an association or an advertising agency network can be the support they need. By networking with other professionals, collaborating on projects, and having honest and open communication about the challenges other owners have faced, owners can not only gain insight into how to build and run a successful business — they can learn how to succeed in the advertising industry.

We’ve gathered a list of the advertising agency networks and associations you should know and consider when you need to ask someone else what you need and how you should move forward.

You can get the free map here – print it out for your office, share with your colleagues, or simply bookmark it on your computer.

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Below, you’ll also find detailed information about the agency networks features in the map so you can get in touch with them when the time comes.

Advertising Agency Networks

Ad agency networks are typically made up of independently owned agencies that meet certain income requirements and are willing to trade confidential or proprietary information with other agency leaders. Member agencies work together to land a key account or to help a brand enter a new market, and agency owners lean on one another for advice and recommendations.

Advertising and Marketing International Network (AMIN)

Founded in 1932, AMIN Worldwide has grown to include 49 member agencies in 29 countries, representing more than $3 billion in combined billings. It runs networks in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Members collaborate to represent a client doing business in other markets or are available for consulting on a category or market. AMIN was “established to offer clients the advantages of a global network combined with the fast, enthusiastic dynamics of the independant, integrated hotshop.”

Agencies include MARC USA, Glass Agency, Bailey Lauerman, Richter7, WHITE, Slignshot, and DGWB, among others.

Headquarters: Wayzata, MN

Founded: 1932

Members: 49

Agency Management Institute (AMI)

AMI provides training, consulting, and original survey data on salaries and benefits for small- to mid-size agencies. But the core focus is the owner peer networks, where members meet for two days twice a year to discuss financials, business development, marketing, and staffing.

AMI wants to help agencies “increase their AGI by at least 25%, attract better clients and employees, and best of all — exceed the agency owner’s life/financial goals.”

Headquarters: Des Moines, IA

Founded: 1995

Members: 70

Comvort

With agencies in 48 countries, Comvort provides local market expertise by designating a marketing communications leader in each market. Network agencies are located in various countries, including Morocco, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Israel, and Cyrus.

Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain

Founded: 1989

Members: 100

E3 International Agency Network

E3 emphasizes that global communication rarely works. Consumers want personalized messaging that appeals to their region and culture’s specific sensibilities. The network has two meetings each year, and hosts the E3 Best of International Awards to recognize a member agency’s work.

Headquarters: Kontich, Belgium

Founded: 1978

Members: 29

InterDirect

Representing independent direct and digital marketing agencies, InterDirect connects agencies from across the globes. Agencies can partner on international or market-specific campaigns, and owners meet twice a year to develop stronger relationships. Agency members include Brüggemann & Freunde (Germany), Dialogue Marketing Communications (Ireland), vandenbusken (Netherlands), and KATALYSTM (Singapore).

Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Founded: 1988

Members: 29

Intermarket Agency Network (IAN)

Created for U.S.-based advertising agencies, IAN host two annual meetings where owners discuss business issues, challenges, and successes. Members include Gauger + Associates, Erwin Penland, Ohlmann Group, and AKQURACY.

Headquarters: Austin, TX

Founded: 1967

Members: 15

International Communications Agency Network, Inc. (ICOM)

ICOM’s international reach spans more than 65 countries and represents $3.5 billion in revenue. Each year, an agency in the network hosts the yearly global meeting so attendees can learn more about different regions and cultures. ICOM also hosts periodic workshops and provides members with access to data and research. Members include agencies such as Cramer-Krasselt (U.S.), Eje Publicitaria (Argentina), Niche - Integrated Marketing Communications (Nigeria), Brandstorm (Poland), and Revo Branding Communications Group< (China).

Headquarters: Rollinsville, CO

Founded: 1950

Members: 81

Interpartners

Interpartners is "a network created specifically to help clients move brands across boundaries." Founded in 1984, the network boasts $620 million in billings and serves more than 990 clients in Europe, the Americas, and Australia.

Members include Artgrup (Turkey and Azerbaijan), Doner (UK and US), SelectNY (Germany), The Ad Kitchen (Dubai and Middle East) and both Hemisphere Droit and Oko (France). Interpartners also provide guidance on entering the marketing industry in Australia, Russia, and virtually all other countries in Europe and beyond, with expansion in Asia coming up soon. It hosts an annual meeting where members come together to discuss issues and trends.

Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium

Founded: 1984

Members: 24

IPREX

IPREX represents 74 agencies with 118 offices in 30 countries. It hosts an annual spring and fall meeting and other conferences that are focused on topics such as value pricing, digital education for emerging leaders, and adaptable agencies. IPREX monitors agency collaboration on accounts to ensure each agency meets the performance standards it requires. IPREX members include HB Agency (U.S.), Item Comunicação (Brazil), Reliant Communications (Greece), and Percept Profile (India).

Headquarters: Milwaukee, WI

Founded: 1983

Members: 74

Marketing & Advertising Global Network (MAGNET)

MAGNET’s goal is to provide content (best practices and proprietary processes), create a community (agency owners share experiences and insights), and build commerce (maximize the revenue streams and opportunities for member agencies). It conducts annual surveys on leadership and staff compensation, agency cost analysis, and billing rates to provide members an inside look and data on the industry. A few member agencies include Brand & Company (Korea), Copacino+Fujikado (U.S.), The Fuel Agency (Australia), and TotalTargets (Brazil).

Headquarters: Pittsburg, PA

Founded: 1946

Members: 39

PR World Alliance (PRWA)

PRWA is a network of independent, owner-led communications firms. Clients are able to work with a variety of member agencies, or they can designate a lead agency to coordinate the communications strategy. A merger between ECP Global Communications and IPAN (International Public Relations Agency Network) resulted in the formation of PRWA in 2011, and the network boasts a large presence in Europe. Members include Briefing Communications Ltd. (Croatia), PIELLE PR Africa (Nigeria), and VIANEWS (Brazil).

Headquarters: Montreal, Canada

Founded: 2011

Members: 21

Public Relations Global Network (PRGN)

PRGN was founded in 1992 as the The Phoenix Network and grew to include international members, resulting in a name change as well, in the early ‘90s. Its mission is to “provide first-class public relations services in major geographical regions from principal-level local market experts.” Membership is by invitation only and the organization represents $110 million in revenues. Members include cometis (Germany), The Conroy Martinez Group (U.S.), and The Content Factory (United Arab Emirates).

Headquarters: Offices Worldwide

Founded: 1992

Members: 47

Public Relations Organisation International (PROI)

PROI’s members bill more than $421 million per year and service more than 4,400 clients across the globe. It reviews partners for quality and capabilities on a regular basis. Members include Publicum, UAB (Estonia), TT&A srl (Italy), FWD Consultores (Mexico), and Walker Sands Communication (U.S.).

Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany

Founded: 1970

Members: 60

San Jose Network (SJN)

The San Jose Network includes 14 agencies in 21 Latin American countries. It provides U.S. agencies with multicultural marketing expertise in brand strategy, messaging, media planning and buying, and research.

Headquarters: Nassau, Bahamas

Founded: 1992

Members: 14

thenetworkone

Based in London, thenetworkone holds events in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. It also maintains a presence at advertising conferences and festivals, hosting events at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, The Holmes Report PR Summit, and Dubai Linix. Agencies can either become affiliated with thenetworkone, which doesn’t require a financial commitment, or they can become a member, which requires an application and approval process.

Headquarters: London, U.K.

Founded: 2003

Members: 800

Trans-Canada Advertising Agency Network (T-CAAN)

Representing independent agencies in Canada, T-CAAN connects clients and agencies with marketing services, advice, and expertise in every province. Members include Hot House Marketing, ZGM Collaborative Marketing, and Aasman Brand Communications.

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario

Founded: 1963

Members: 27

Transworld Advertising Agency Network (TAAN)

TAAN’s mission is to “enhance the intelligence, expertise, reach, and effectiveness of the owners of our members through cooperative learning, expert insight, cultural reach, and shared capabilities.” It represents 53 member agencies in 29 countries and 63 cities. Each prospective member goes through a six-month process, which concludes with a global vote of the existing members; if more than two “no” votes are cast, then the agency’s application is denied. Annual meetings are held twice a year — one in Europe and one in North America. Members include ab+c (U.S.) Ascendant Communications (U.K.), Franklin Street Marketing (U.S.), Lemon Studio (Romania), and ENNEMM (Iceland).

Headquarters: Boston, MA

Founded: 1936

Members: 53

Worldcom Public Relations Group

Worldcom brings together PR firms who have a deep understanding of a specific region, culture, or language. Members adhere to management standards and are reviewed every three years by a peer agency. The organization has created practice groups that bring together experts in a particular industry or area, such as health care, sustainability, and B2B. Members include Coyne Public Relations (U.S.), Glaubicz Garwolinska Consultants (Poland), Ya Corporation Communication Group (Russia), LF CHANNEL (Spain), and Lange 360 (South Africa).

Headquarters: New York, NY

Founded: 1988

Members: 140

Worldwide Partners, Inc. (WPI)

Representing more than $2.7 billion in billings, WPI is one of the oldest agency networks. It has members in 50 countries and works to customize the account structure for each client. Members include The A Team (Taiwan), Blomquist Annonsbyrå (Sweden), Halsband Worldwide Partners (Costa Rica), and Hydrogen (U.S.).

Headquarters: Denver, CO

Founded: 1938

Members: 81

Advertising Associations

Advertising associations are typically — but not always — trade organizations that work to promote and protect the industry through initiatives and communication. They bring together either agencies, agencies and brands, or professionals to share education, resources, and training — all in an effort to heighten the knowledge and expertise of those working in the industry.

ADC

ADC works to “connect creative professionals around the globe, while simultaneously provoking and elevating world-changing ideas through its programming.” Founded in 1920 by Louis Pedlar, the ACD brings together creative through it traveling awards exhibition, Portfolio Night, Tomorrow Awards, and workshops. In addition, it has spearheaded industry issues such as the 50/50 Initiative to promote the participation of women in the creative industry.

Headquarters: New York, NY

Founded: 1920

Members: 2000

American Advertising Federation (AAF)

AAF acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising" and works to promote and protect the industry. The trade association is comprised of corporate members, 200 local federations, and more than 200 college chapters. Major initiatives include the Advertising Hall of Fame, the National Student Advertising Competition, ADMERICA! (its annual conference), and the Mosaic Awards, which recognizes advertising professionals who are committed to diversity and inclusion in the industry.

Headquarters: Washington D.C.

Founded: 1967

Members: 46,000 professionals

American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's)

The 4A’s conducts member surveys, provides guides on best practices, hosts trainings and webinars, and advocates for the industry in Washington. Its yearly conferences include the Transformation Conference, CreateTech, Strategy Festival, and Talent@2030.

Headquarters: New York, NY

Founded: 1917

Members: 750 agencies

AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing

AHAA works to raise awareness of the value of Hispanic marketing, to grow the Hispanic marketing industry through research and knowledge share, and to promote high standards for member agencies.

Headquarters: Fairfax, VA

Founded: 1996

Members: 210

American Marketing Association (AMA)

AMA provides a wealth of resources on marketing. It hosts in-person and online training courses and publishes journals on marketing research and international marketing. Members also have access to tools and templates, and professionals can attend local chapter events in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Founded: 1937

Members: 30,000 professionals

Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF)

3AF brings together resources on Asian American consumers and supports Asian American advertising agencies, media companies, and specialists. At its annual conference — 3AF Asian Marketing Summit — the organization recognizes the marketers and advertising agencies that recognize and promote the Asian American market in advertising.

Headquarters: West Hollywood, CA

Founded: 1999

Members: 16

Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA)

ACA represents the creative and advertising agencies in South Africa and provides education and resources to member agencies. Its code of conduct supports healthy competition and ethical marketing and business practices between member agencies. ACA’s annual APEX Awards highlight campaigns that led to increased profits for client’s brand.

Headquarters: Randburg, South Africa

Founded: 1971

Members: 100

Communication Agencies Association (CAANZ)

CAANZ’s mission is to “champion the contribution the creative thinking members makes to New Zealand business and society.” The organization works with universities to create relevant courses, and it supports the efforts of young professionals working at agencies across the country. CAANZ hosts annual conferences and presents awards for creative excellence and media strategy.

Headquarters: Auckland, New Zealand

Founded: 1961

Members: 91

Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA)

ICA’s members represent 75% of Canadian advertising spending, and its initiatives include talent development, education of the industry on best practices, and support of member agencies. It works to ensure fair compensation and drive industry change.

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario

Founded: 1905

Members: 85

IPA

IPA is the professional organization for communication agencies in the U.K. It provides education on agency management, access to research, and consulting on topics such as finance, legal, and HR. The organization provides certifications to practitioners and hosts multiple conferences and workshops each year.

Headquarters: London, UK

Founded: 1917

Members: 230

Market Research Association

The Market Research Association administers the Professional Researcher Certification (PRC), an exam to measure a professional’s competency and proficiency in the field. Certification must be renewed every two years. Members have access to the organization’s quarterly Alert! Magazine, receive a weekly newsletter, and are able to attend online webinars. MRA also published the Blue Book Marketing Research Services Directory, which lists marketing research companies and suppliers.

Headquarters: Washington D.C.

Founded: 1957

Members: 2,200 professionals

Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

Both brands and agencies make up the membership of MMA, which in a nonprofit association that works to “accelerate the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement.” The association publishes the International Journal of Mobile Marketing and provides access to case studies. MMA also provides qualifications — in partnership with mCordis — which are accredited by The Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing.

Headquarters: New York, NY

Founded: 2001

Members: 150

Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA)

OAAA, established in 1891, is one of the oldest associations to support the advertising industry. In 1913, it convinced members to donate billboards for public service messaging, a practice that still continues. The organization promotes industry principles, which include observing the freedom of speech, respecting the environment, and creating safe digital billboards.

Headquarters: Washington D.C.

Founded: 1891

Members: 800

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

PRSA’s initiatives include supporting professional development, setting standards of excellence, and promoting a code of ethics for the profession. Its Anvil Awards are highly regarded in the industry, and it hosts several conferences that bring together practitioners and educate attendees on the future of the industry.

Headquarters: New York, NY

Founded: 1947

Members: 21,000 professionals

SoDA

SoDA “serves as a network and voice for entrepreneurs and innovators around the globe who are creating the future of marketing and digital experiences.” The organization publishes The SoDA Report, an annual report on digital trends. Membership is by invitation only, and its roster includes agencies such as DARE, Digitaria, Pound & Grain, Firstborn, and Column Five.

Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

Founded: 2008

Members: 90

Second Wind

Second Wind provides reports and resources to help agencies become more profitable and efficient. It hosts an online forum for agency owners and leaders to discuss the most important issues facing small- and mid-size agencies, and publishes training manuals on traffic systems, account service, and new business development. One of the most valued resources is the organization’s “Production Pricing Survey report,” which helps agencies compare their pricing with other agencies by size and location.

Headquarters: Wyomissing,PA

Founded: 1988

Members: 700

Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)

WOMMA provides support and resources on word-of-mouth and social media marketing, hosting an annual summit, wine Wednesdays, and community management certification courses. It also provides guidance on ethics and privacy in the field.

Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Founded: 2004

Members: 66 agencies

*Data collected from the website of the association or network and confirmed – if possible -- by a representative in July 2014.

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Topics: Leadership & Management

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