GroupM tops Canada’s 2020 media billings: Comvergence

Mediacom, Mindshare and Wavemaker had the highest net new business in a year where Rogers, Uber and HBC were the big accounts on the move.

GroupM agencies dominated media billings in Canada in 2020, according to the full-year numbers from French analytics firm COMvergence.

Looking at new wins, client retentions and account losses, Mediacom had net new business totalling $70 million USD in 2020. It was followed by Mindshare, with $52 million USD, and Wavemaker, at $31 million USD. That put parent company GroupM first in Canada with$153 million USD in new business, followed by Dentsu International ($49 million USD) and IPG Mediabrands ($37 million USD).

Interestingly, 68% of media pitches assessed and subsequent client moves in Canada are associated with local reviews, putting Canada just under the global average, where local reviews represent 71% of the total spend considered.

One hundred percent of Cossette Media’s reviewed spend was local, followed by Starcom with 99% and Mindshare with 84%. Global and multi-country reviews had a greater impact on Mediacom, Carat and Wavemaker.

Overall, the report logs $491 million USD in total media spending in Canada, with $335 million USD from local pitches (58), $156 million USD from regional and global pitches (24) and $20 million USD in returning business.

In terms of the biggest accounts that moved last year, telecoms topped the list in Canada, with the $97 million USD Rogers account that went to WPP last summer being the biggest individual account. It was followed by Uber (awarded to Mediacom as part of a global review, with the Canadian portion of the account worth $34 million USD), Hudson’s Bay ($25 million USD, awarded to Cossette early last year), Walmart ($23 million USD, which went to Starcom at the end of 2020) and Circle K ($18 million USD in Canada recently won by Mediacom as part of a lengthy six-month long global review).

That translates into 82 pitches and moves in total, with 72 won or retained by the international agency networks, 10 by independent or in-house agencies, and three retained by the incumbent agency.