This nice little puff piece from the Dallas Business Journal seems to indicate that the phoenix like rise of the independent advertising agency is in full swing. Having worked for a large, holding company owned agency as well as working in and owning independent agencies, I can honestly there are advantages to both. However, the holding company model has never been effeciently executed in my opinion. The modern holding companies were put together not to play to the strengths of the independent agencies, but rather the strengths of their billings. This means you have agencies competing against one another rather than cooperating to win business. Not an efficient way of doing things at all.
Small- to mid-size independent advertising agencies are being given more opportunities to show they can hawk and brand anything from ice cream and hamburgers to million-dollar beach homes and carpet cleaning as well, or better, than their conglomerate-owned counterparts.