Tesco’s weekend media pitch is a game-changer for WPP and IPG as well as the competing agencies

It’s the great Tesco media pitch on Saturday – well it beats shopping in one of their superstores..

Long-term incumbent Initiative is lining up against WPP/GroupM’s MediaCom and m/SIX (m/SIX is 51 per cent owned by CHI, 49 per cent by WPP).

tesco_2196179c-300x187On the face of it this should be a shoe-in for the mighty MediaCom, far and away the UK’s biggest media agency and the seemingly obvious home for Tesco”s £100m or so ad spend.

But it seems that some people at Tesco are not wholly enamoured of MediaCom, partly because it lost out in the recent pitch for Sainsbury’s (which stayed with Omnicom’s PHD), although if it hadn’t it wouldn’t be pitching for Tesco, of course. But also because WPP’s Kinetic, which won Tesco’s £4m out of home business from IPG’s Rapport a couple of years ago, has had more than its sharing of teething problems with the demanding retailer. Both of which may help to explain why m/SIX has muscled its way on to the list – it has the benefit of WPP’s GroupM buying power but isn’t wholly WPP.

Initiative shouldn’t be discounted either. IPG’s two media agencies in the UK – Initiative and UM – have suffered against their rivals, perceived as being content to service existing IPG accounts rather than building via new business. So they both need to hang on to what they’ve got which, in UM’s case, no longer includes Microsoft, lost to Carat.

Gossips say that two other UM accounts – Dairy Crest and General Mills – are reviewing or about to review. Which makes this a big weekend for IPG as a whole in the UK, as well as the contenders for Tesco’s media.

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