Young & Rubicam, looking to snag more revenue in one of the few ad sectors still growing despite the recession, is forming an alliance with Mars Advertising, a specialist in pitching products to consumers while they're busy shopping.Traditional ad agencies, finding their business shrinking as a result of the decline of traditional media, are following the money into in-store marketing. Y&R is just the latest of several firms to enter the field.
Y&R faces stiff competition in the in-store sector, where some of its rivals were faster to bulk up. Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, for example, purchased in-store marketing firm Thompson Murray in 2004. Now named Saatchi X, the firm has 15 offices around the world and works for marketers such as Procter & Gamble, Wal-Mart Stores and PepsiCo's Frito-Lay.It's good to see the ad agencies catch on (if belatedly) to what we've all known for a decade or more. It remains to be seen if they understand the dynamics of trade promo. It's a little different from competing for Golden Lions at Cannes.