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More problems for IPG’s Mediabrands as L’Oreal reviews $2.3bn US media account

serlin_25653L’Oreal USA is reviewing its $2.3bn media account, currently with Interpublic’s UM with Publicis Groupe’s DigitasLBi handling digital.

The obvious contender is WPP’s GroupM. GroupM agencies have won L’Oreal business in the Nordics, UK, Ireland, South East Asia, Canada, China, Germany and Latin America recently. The biggest coup was WPP’s Maxus winning the £135m UK media account from Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia.

GroupM has come second in a number of big media pitches recently but L’Oreal seems to be a fan. L’Oreal is also reported to be considering its programmatic media buying options, which should also work in GroupM’s favour although some major clients – L’Oreal is the world’s third largest advertiser – have chosen to set up their own units.

The US review, being overseen by new L’Oreal media boss Nadine Karp McHugh, is not good news for IPG’s UM. IPG’s Mediabrands operation is big in the US but struggling elsewhere, losing Microsoft outside the US to Carat and involved in a repitch for £100m Tesco in the UK.

Losing L’Oreal in the US would place a question mark over its media operations there too.

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