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John Lewis co-opts ITG for content production agency

SERIAL Cannes Lions award winner John Lewis has revealed plans to create a new content production agency in partnership with technology-powered marketing company Inspired Thinking Group (ITG). Under the new alliance, John Lewis and ITG will combine to produce customer-facing marketing content.

Young boy in Christmas pyjamas holding a roughly wrapped present near a lit up Christmas tree looking at the camera
Joe wakes up on Christmas morning to find a gift from his monster friend – in the 2023 John Lewis Christmas spot

John Lewis said the new team will use ITG’s proprietary marketing technology to manage and produce a full range of content rapidly. “This partnership will radically transform what we do, using market leading technology to produce fantastic quality content, at speed and scale,” said Charlotte Lock, customer director for John Lewis Partnership. “Ultimately, it’s about creating even closer relationships with our customers, through more relevant, engaging, high-quality content.”

Significantly, Lock indicated that the new alliance with ITG would not impact the work of its lead creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Instead, the move is about using market-leading technology to produce fantastic quality content at speed and scale.

John Lewis is not alone in going down the in-house agency route. According to a recent survey conducted by WFA and The Observatory International, 66% of brands now have in-house agencies, with a further 21% actively considering one. Some 70% already have in-house strategic capabilities, according to the WFA, with many aiming to migrate tasks from external agencies over the next three years.

While cost efficiencies remain the strongest motivation behind the growth of the in-house function (83%), other factors such as more agile processes (76%), better integration (59%) and increased brand knowledge (59%) are driving adoption.

ITG has 1300 employees working across several markets worldwide. Its website references partners including KFC, Puma, Heineken, Costa, and M&S.


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