How European Wax Center Is Using Acadia To Get Off ‘Retail Island’


In an article published Feb 1, 2024 in Modern Retail, Acadia’s CEO Jared Belsky and Carly Tietzer, European Wax Center’s VP of Marketing, talks about the benefits of consolidating efforts within a single agency and how brands need to free their budgets from “Retail Island.”

You can read highlights from the article below. 

Digital marketing agency Acadia is now focusing on pitching itself as an agency of record for bigger brands, rather than a boutique Amazon player. Its latest client is European Wax Center, which is using the agency for all of its Amazon, search and paid media work.

 “My biggest thesis is that a lot of money is trapped on retail island,” said Jared Belsky, co-founder and CEO of Acadia. “For most clients, retail media is its own thing.” That is, brands have a bifurcated marketing budget — one focused primarily on top-of-funnel awareness plays, the other on more direct retail-media campaigns on platforms like Amazon and Walmart.

Acadia, for example, has long focused on retail media platforms as a niche to reel in brands. But now more clients are trying to account for other marketing campaigns and channels (that usually have their own associated agencies) — like search, TV and social media — and having them all work in concert with each other more seamlessly. As such, agencies are widening their lenses in the hopes of getting bigger clients, with deeper pockets.

“Having one agency to really focus in on our business really allows them to dive in and understand our audiences,” said Carly Tietzer, European Wax Center’s vp of marketing. “How they all work together, how the audience is in the different platforms, how they can maximize the different platforms.”

Acadia launched in 2021 primarily as a retail media agency. Over the years it acquired a number of other smaller players that focused on specific areas like Amazon and Google, and is now trying to convince brands that it can help lead entire marketing budgets. “We can be that modern [agency of record],” Belsky said. 

“There are 10,000 of what I call performance bro shops slinging bids on Meta,” said Belsky. But he believes agencies should focus on bridging the upstream from the downstream — “Google experts, Shopify experts, Meta experts,” he said.  “Media has gotten harder, not easier.”

As Acadia’s Belsky sees it, agencies are increasingly focusing on driving an entire business’s growth and not just a specific channel. “The [marketing] money needs to flow to drive growth and shareholder value,” he said.

Read the full article here

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Jonathan Kahn