Brands have been handling more of their advertising in-house over the past few years – a trend that’s sped up in the pandemic.

Business Insider identified 20 companies that are providing brands with services like content creation, media-buying, and measurement.

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OLIVER and other firms that are helping big brands like Starbucks and Uber take their advertising in-house

Brands have been bringing more of their ad-buying and creative production in-house over the past few years — a trend that’s sped up in the pandemic.

Fully 55% of 196 respondents surveyed by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) said they relied on their in-house agencies to adjust their campaigns since the pandemic hit in March.

Meeting that demand is a new crop of consultancies and firms that are helping brands do work such as hiring, creating content, media buying, and measurement. While the trend may threaten traditional ad agencies and holding companies, some like Dentsu and WPP are establishing in-housing consulting practices in agencies of their own.


Marketing vet Simon Martin set up Oliver in 2004, promising it could make brands more efficient by taking their advertising in-house. Today, the You and Mr. Jones-majority-owned firm has more than 3,000 employees in 46 countries and clients including Unilever, Adidas, Microsoft, 3M, WestJet and Bayer.

Oliver embeds team members with clients, auditing their processes, helping them create content and measure it. It helped Unilever set up U-Studios, its internal content arm, which helped bring down its costs by 30% in 2017.

With a 2020 revenue of $250 million, OLIVER claims to have grown 35% globally this year and its North American business 380% in the past three years. Most recently, it expanded to France under ex-Google strategic partnerships director Jean Neltner.