AI and In-House Agencies: Survey

With so much hype around AI, the In-House Agency Leaders Club wanted to find out how in-house creative teams are actually using the technology, what they think the opportunities are with AI and the challenges to fully realising them. So we asked them. Our AI Survey, conducted in partnership with Adobe, analyses responses from in-house agency leaders at almost 50 major brands and organisations in the UK and EMEA, across sectors including Charities, Media, FMCG, Financial Services and Retail.

The potential of AI can no longer be in doubt, but that potential comes with major concerns around ethics, bias, copyright, IP and its impact on the lives of the photographers, illustrators, filmmakers and other specialists on whose skills the creative industry relies. As leaders of in-house teams who, by definition, operate within larger corporate structures, our community is at the sharp end of figuring out how to negotiate this new landscape. Overwhelmingly, they recognise the exciting opportunities of GenAI, but they also recognise their responsibilities to their teams, partners, customers and stakeholders.

How are you currently using AI?
We began by asking if in-house agencies are currently using AI at all in their operations. Then we asked whether they were using Closed or Open AI. systems, what they were using AI on and what kind of assets they were using it to create. Next we asked if GenAI was currently being used to create live campaign assets and how that might change in the next year. We also wanted to know if it was important to IHA leaders that consumers were made aware of when GenAI had been used on campaign assets.

Tools and technologies
Next we asked about the tools IHAs were using – for text and research, image creation, video, audio and marketing ops/asset management.


How are IHAs and the organisations to which they belong preparing for AI from a legal, ethical and regulatory standpoint? We asked IHA leaders if their organisation had an AI policy in place and if there was also a specific policy for the in-house team. And we asked respondents to give us detail on thier policies and what they cover.

We know that IHAs are excited by the potential of AI, but where do they think it will have the greatest positive impact? We asked our respondents to score the potential of AI across a number of opportunities such as Improving Briefs, Creative Concepting, Automating Mundane Tasks, and Saving Time.


Concerns and challenges
AI comes will some well-documented issues, from the legal and ethical to worries about its carbon footprint and impact on creative. We wanted to find out what our community was most worried about, asking them to rate issues such as Copyright Infringement, Brand Safety, Bias, Trust, Sustainability and Impact on Livelihoods. We also asked what the major barriers to adoption were, eg Budget and Corporate Policy.

Team Dynamics
How is AI impacting IHA teams and how are leaders preparing for it? We asked respondents to tell us what the overall sentiment towards AI is in their teams – is it viewed positively or negatively? How will AI impact the size of your team and have you begun training for AI?


Future Outlook
In our final section, we asked respondents to tell us whether they agreed with a range of statements about AI. We also asked them to give us their overall view of AI and how it will impact their work.

The report also includes an interview with Trevor Chambers, ECD at TSB’s in-house agency Kindred on how the IHA is experimenting with AI and also an overview of the key AI issues facing in-house agencies by Suzanne Steele, VP and MD, Adobe UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa at Adobe


Respondents come from approximately 50 businesses and organisations within the UK and EMEA. We believe that our respondents constitute a representative sample of IHAs according to size and remit, with sectors including Charities, Media, FMCG, Financial Services and Retail. Research was carried out in March and April 2024.

In partnership with


IHALC AI Survey.

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