I hope no-one from WPP’s GroupM is planning to break bread with boss Sir Martin Sorrell this weekend because it could prove a daunting experience.
This is the third such major smack in the mouth for GroupM over the past few months. First it lost the UK government’s £140m media account, handled through bespoke outfit M4C, to Carat. WPP didn’t take kindly to this at all, instigating a court case against HMG which it subsequently dropped.
Then Johnny Hornby’s media agency m/SIX (which also uses GroupM prices) lost the £46m Dixons Carphone account to Walker Media, now majority owned by Publicis Groupe. Another big ouch which GroupM didn’t take kindly to either, openly wondering about how Walker managed to go in so cheap.
So that’s £180m or so down the tubes. Now GroupM has learned that Sainsbury’s isn’t coming its way when the cards appeared stacked in its favour during the marathon three-month review.
Omnicom is currently embroiled in an expensive (for its clients) stand-off with Channel 5, which should helped GroupM, which isn’t.
There’s some stormy weather heading GroupM’s way unless it can persuade WPP its opponents were offering unaffordable deals.
WPP reminds me that its legal case against HMG hasn’t been dropped but is ‘ongoing.’