Times were definitely a-changin’ in 2015 with marketers reviewing their accounts with agencies to make sure they had the best fit. The account review wave was termed as ‘Mediapalooza’. According to R3’s New Business League table globally there were about 7,000 individual reviews in last year. “Marketers were constantly looking for the right mix of creative, digital, media and social partners, and this year was the most active we’ve measured to date,” said Greg Paull, Principal of R3.
“Despite the huge number of global media reviews in the last twelve months, we believe there could be a second wave this year as more and more marketers are seeking reassurance for their media value,” he added.
Where are the agencies standing now, in terms of global media accounts?
Overall WPP agencies led the way, with USD 603 million in total New Business revenue, led by a strong performance from most of their creative agencies. It was followed by Omnicom and IPG.
“From Ogilvy to Y&R to J Walter Thompson to Grey, WPP’s creative agencies won more than 1,500 assignments across six continents,” said Mr Paull.
Yet WPP’s performance was only 3.5 per cent of their revenues, compared to Interpublic (5.5 per cent), Havas (8.2 per cent) and MDC (8.4 per cent). “MDC had more than their fair share of internal challenges at the holding company level, but the individual agencies had a strong year with wins including American Airlines, Unilever and New York Life,” he added.
In creative and digital agencies, McCann Erickson was a surprise leader, winning more than 491 assignments across 60+ countries. “McCann continue to have so many business tentacles with which to build relationships, they continue to lead the way in prospecting,” mentioned Mr Paull.
Closely following the IPG agency was Omnicom’s DDB and independent Wieden + Kennedy. “Wieden won twenty times less the number of accounts as McCann, but in securing bug wins from Unilever, Nurofen and Samsung, they were able to close the gap,” he added.
WPP’s Mindshare took the top spot among media agencies, despite winning far fewer assignments than second placed OMD, or third placed Carat. “Mindshare retained the world’s second largest advertiser, Unilever, in most markets, and expanded into General Mills, and other regional assignments,” said Mr Paull.
“These pitches defined the global media agency scene for this year – but time will tell if other marketers will follow suit as they seek out value,” he added.
R3’s projection for 2016 is that while media reviews will continue, there should be an uptake in digital AOR reviews. “CMO’s are going to spend more on digital in the next five years than CIOs,” said Mr Paull. “Companies are going to need to review and find long term digital partners to help them in this journey,” he added.