Trends of 2023: The year in advertising

This year the ad industry manged to create some great work in between threats to the agency model, Barbie fever, and the realities of the cost of living crisis

It’s been another tumultuous year in the land of ads. More than ever this year we saw the traditional industry model at risk, with legacy agencies merging, and changes in the way people work and who they work with signifying a real shift. Elsewhere advances in tech continued to make people question their place in the workforce, and with the impact of the cost of living crisis becoming clearer, brand purpose also came under fire.

Among these big changes though, the year also saw lots of interesting work being created by a mix of well-known, established brands and exciting newcomers. Here we check in with some of the most effective campaigns by revisiting the biggest trends and happenings that cropped up this year.


While mergers, takeovers and rebrands are commonplace in the industry, this year saw some big moves. M&C Saatchi restructured is UK operations under one single ‘supergroup’ to prioritise a “more collaborative operating model”, IPG-owned FCB rebranded its London office from Inferno to FCB London, and the biggest news was WPP announcing the merger of Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R into VML, to become the industry’s largest creative company.