WPP and DDB on why they each have a creative index

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 23 October 2023
Rose Herceg and Sheryl Marjoram.

WPP's Creative Capital Index, launched last week, was greeted by many noting a similarity to DDB's Creative Index revealed last year.

However, Sheryl Marjoram, CEO of DDB Group Sydney, and Rose Herceg, ANZ president of WPP, told AdNews they are proud to be on the same page.

One industry insider said: "Creative index Vs creative capital index. Nice build from DDB’s work!"

However, while both indexes analyse the financial performance of creativity, they are different, Marjoram said.

“WPP’s is awesome which uses customer data. Ours uses market data and I think they sit beautifully together,” she said.

WPP's Creative Capital Index, built by WPP's brand analytics platform BAV, combines influence and creativity scores to demonstrates how brands with high creative capital outperform others on financial performance, stock market returns consumer advocacy.

DDB's Creative Index, built in conjunction with investment and advisory firm Jarden, aggregates Australia’s top creative companies using historical and live ASX share price data, from 2012 to now. 

“Our industry requires and feeds off similar but the same products - so having similar, but different products in the same category can never be the problem, because that's our lifeblood,” Marjoram said.

“We are proud, because well before this was a product it was an urgent theme.”

Herceg said she is delighted that WPP and DDB are talking about the value of creativity because she wants everybody to talk about it.

“Putting an economic value to what we do is critical, because the last thing that should be cut is the marketing budget - in fact, it should quadruple in an economic downturn,” she said.

“Our Creative Capital Index and the products that we all produce is one of the same in driving value - here’s to three or four more.”

“Les Timar, Mark Green, Mike Rebelo and Kirsty Muddle all talk about it,” Herceg said.

“What we do drives economic value, social change and changes legislation - I can think of no other industry that does all that so I think we should all have a product.

“My dream is that every CFO automatically goes to their teams of marketers to ask how much do you need? This is another step towards that.”

Darren Woolley, Trinity P3 founder and global CEO, told AdNews the introduction of these indexes is evidence that all agencies are feeling pressure from AI, which favours the tech platforms and consulting firms.

"The index is trying to prove that creativity is something only advertising agencies can provide," Woolley said.

"All creative agencies will be looking to do something similar to remain competitive against AI.

"The problem is that creativity is seen in the context of advertising - and that's the next step for agencies trying to break away from advertising creativity into business value creation. 

"And in my opinion WPP will be more useful because their massive BAV data gives them a competitive advantage."

However, Herceg said the index is not fighting against AI.

“That's not at all what we are doing - all our agencies are using AI to improve our creative product," Herceg said.

“We’re not looking at AI as us Vs them.”

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