WPP/Grey Global: and now there are five…
Britain's WPP Group, the world's second biggest ad holding company, whose combined revenue is outpaced only by New York's Omnicom Group, has beaten the contenders to acquire the last big indie ad outfit, Grey Global Group, in a reported US$1.5 billion deal.
Britain’s WPP Group, the world’s second biggest ad holding company, whose combined revenue is outpaced only by New York’s Omnicom Group, has beaten the contenders to acquire the last big indie ad outfit, Grey Global Group, in a reported US$1.5 billion deal.
Under the new world order, Grey’s MediaCom division gains powerful allies as it hooks up with WPP’s Mediaedge:cia and MindShare. In Canada, Mediaedge:cia is headed by president Bruce Grondin and Karen Naylor is managing director of MindShare Canada.
At issue in terms of potential client conflict in many markets is Grey’s Procter & Gamble and WPP’s Unilever, causing pundits to speculate that it would hamper any merging of entities.
So while post-merge speculation often turns to seeking efficiencies, pundits believe that in Canada any consolidation of media management firms Mediaedge:cia, Mindshare and MediaCom’s MBS/The Media Company, and their international counterparts, would greatly limit the already sparse non-competing choices for multinational clients – and perhaps even open the door to new media brands from the other worldwide agency congloms.
MediaCom Worldwide recently purchased Media Buying Services, The Media Company (a joint-venture with MediaCom since 1997), and Retail Media from Peter Swain, now non-exec vice-chair of MediaCom and advisor to CEO Alexander Schmidt-Vogel. President and CEO of MBS is David Campbell, while Doug Checkeris is president and CEO of The Media Company.
Checkeris says MediaCom will stay the same in terms of structure, and in terms of interaction with Mindshare and Mediaedge, the areas where they would likely collaborate will be buying research and investing in research tools.
Annual billings for MediaCom Worldwide (Canada) are estimated to be over half a billion dollars. Recent wins for MBS/The Media Company are the $80 million Procter & Gamble Canada broadcast media buying account, Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Nokia and the Rogers companies. Other clients include Paramount Pictures Canada.
Mediaedge:cia clients include Colgate-Palmolive Canada and Molson Canada, and MindShare clients include 20th Century Fox.
While much of the Unilever media work is handled by WPP in the U.S., in Canada PHD (an Omnicom Group co.) handles media buying for Unilever, with the WPP companies handling creative here.