It seems that you can’t have too many media agencies these days (unless you’re Omnicom) and Publicis Groupe has quietly launched a third to add to Starcom and Zenith, Spark headed by long-serving Starcom exec Chris Boothe (left).
Spark has won the media planning for Yum Brands’ Taco Bell, yet another account to depart Interpublic’s DraftFCB.
Interpublic itself launched a third would-be global media agency BPN (or Brand Programming Network) in August to add to Universal McCann and Initiative. WPP has even more with newish contender Maxus hard on the heels of MediaCom, MEC and Mindshare. Omnicom has just OMD and PHD.
To make life even more complicated in medialand, three of the four biggies also have over-arching media outfits which seem to oversee the individual media brands: GroupM at WPP, VivaKi at Publicis Groupe and IPG mediabrands at, yes, IPG.
Adding another media brand like Spark has two obvious purposes: one is as a conflict shop, there aren’t very many indie media agencies of any scale left (Horizon is the US is by far the biggest). Some clients may also prefer smaller, nimbler outfits although the intention, which seems to be being realised at WPP’s Maxus, is obviously to get bigger.