Very late in commenting on this but ….
You say: “ Clients are asking us to grow their business and solve big, tough, complicated commercial problems.”
The problem is, they’re not.
For many of the reasons you raise, we are not being asked to solve the business problem, we’re being asked to solve the ad problem. Our seat at the table has been taken over by management consultants or an internal team that exists outside of marketing.
The key question is how do we get it back?