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Another poser for Publicis as 21st Century Fox joins the rush to review global media

There’ll be much burning of the midnight oil in Publcis Groupe’s big two media operations – Starcom MediaVest and ZenithOptimedia – as another big global client reviews.

21st-century-foxAt the end of last week Procter & Gamble announced it was reviewing its North American media business with Starcom and now Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox its reviewing its $1bn global media at Zenith. Briefs are expected to go to all the holding companies with WPP and Dentsu’s Aegis the likeliest contenders.

Aegis-owned Vizeum works on some Fox business and WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell is a big pal of Murdoch’s. WPP handles creative and media for Murdoch’s newspaper business News Corp. in the UK. But Omnicom has upped its media game too in recent years. It’s hard to see Interpublic’s Mediabrands challenging these three.

Conflicts, of course, will be an issue – Fox competes in a crowded film and television market – but the big media operations have shown themselves to be adroit in sidestepping such issues, happily forming bespoke units for really big accounts.

It’s also more common in media for accounts to stay put after a big review than it is with creative agencies. Publicis, which is facing a bit hit to its US revenues on multiple fronts, must be hoping that’s the case here.

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