Webmedia won’t spark ‘carnage’

There has been a lot of ill-informed comment on the demise of Webmedia (MW January 22). Let’s be clear – one dead swallow does not make a winter.

It is certainly true that there will be consolidation in the Web industry this year, and that US companies are eyeing Europe with interest. In addition, it is an area with low cost of entry and oversupply. But it is wrong to assume, as some are doing, that the result is “carnage” or that clients will migrate to the US where we are told account handling skills are better.

Those companies which have always integrated account hand ling skills into the mix, along with design and technical expertise, are experiencing strong growth now as clients become more sophisticated in their appreciation of how to develop new media strategies and products.

Many models can work in this market – the ad agency that avoids production but offers strategy; the Web production company that simply produces; and the client which handles it all in-house.

We just happen to think that strategic and production skills can learn a lot from each other when housed in the same place and in our experience demand for just such a mix is proving an increasingly attractive proposition.

We are achieving 90 per cent year on year growth, with about 50 per cent coming from retained business, and 50 per cent from new accounts.

I know we are not alone.

Mark Curtis

Joint managing director

CHBi

London

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