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How agencies are affected by going in-house

On August 25th, 2021, the In-House Agency Council (IHAC) partnering with Kantar published Australian In-House Agency Landscape, a research report focusing on the state of the in-house agency model within Australia.

In-House vs Agency

The research focused on the following aspects:

  • The current landscape of in-housing in Australia

  • The experience of operating an in-house agency

  • Attitudes toward in-house agencies from the wider industry

  • What the future may hold for in-housing in Australia

This research was conducted in June 2021 with around 100 respondents and they were a mix of Panel, IHAC members and public survey links. In Australia, it shows the penetration of in-house agencies at 67% and the remaining half (14%) are considering it.

A statement from Chris Maxwell, IHAC founder and chairman:

"In 2018, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in the U.S did a similar survey and we have used it as a comparison point to give context to our results. Our latest research figures related to penetration of the model show that Australia is much further along than anyone expected, and only about five years behind the U.S market."

TL;DR version is 86% survey responders reporting to be satisfied, 7% neutral and only 7% dissatisfied. Compared with external agencies, marketers are likely to be satisfied with the performance of their in-house agencies versus external agencies (86% vs 64% external).

They are also four times more likely to be "completely satisfied" with the performance of their in-house agency (21%), compared to external (5%).

Key slides from the reports from WLM perspective was:

  • In-House acknowledgement in Australia

  • Media budget to a number of employees

  • Type of services are handled in-house (44% are able to do media planning and/or buying). Thus, 56% has the potential of benefitting from our services

  • And finally, as seen below, benefits to the company on having an IHA. Those are key metrics we are always advocating for along with transparency (held accountable in a space often hidden away in CPM)

Page 14 of the report

"Helping our members overcome these challenges is why we exist; to work together, share best practices and learn from each other. When your biggest challenges are issues such as managing workflows, the prioritisation of key projects, and expanding capabilities, it tells us that internal clients are increasingly trusting IHA teams with more work."

This aligns with WLM anecdotal experience with all the direct clients, agencies and trading desk/DSPs that we helped taking in-house and even taken the reigns completely after training and systems were set up for commercial success. Please feel free to reach out to us at


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