After transparency, back-handers and disintermediation by platforms, media agencies are also facing a competitive challenge from interest shown by big consulting firms.

Is this the nail in the coffin for the traditional ad agency? Not necessarily, but their role may well evolve in the next few years.

That is the view from one exec whose company is trying to sell tools to help the industry make and deliver ads better.

“Consultancies obviously see this as an opportunity,” says Adobe Advertising cloud SVP and GM Keith Eadie. They see this as akin to what they’ve done with email platforms and other marketing software platforms. Now media buying looks more like that, so they’re evaluating what they can do there.

“But I think there’s still a sweet spot for agencies in terms of their strategy capability being brought to bear and enabled through the technology platforms. ”

For months, ad land has been attuned to the appearance of big consultants aiming to capitalise on ad agencies’ troubles.

At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the festival chairman noted the arrival of consulting firms like EY. Philip Thomas said they had not “taken over”, but were more visible.

So how will things change? Eadie sees rejuvenation at the nexus of maths and makers.

I think data and media activation. Those have been baked, right? We’ve spent the last 10 years evolving data and media activation platforms.

He says the industry has spent the last decade advancing data capabilities: “But we’ve completely forgotten about creative. We need to rebalance that focus area. We need to provide brands and agencies with creative management platforms that increase the velocity of content, helps that creative value chain iterate more quickly, redistributes what parts of the creative asset building and editing are done between creative agencies and media teams.”

That would raise the question of a “recombination of creative and media agencies to actually pull that off”, Eadie adds.

Typically, the two kinds of services are separate. Could the evolution of tools bring them back together?