Coca-Cola is looking in at least one new direction in its current global media review, adding Ogilvy & Mather to a list of contenders that also includes fellow WPP agency MediaCom and incumbent Starcom MediaVest, according to a report in Ad Age. Carat is off the list (with a dozen or so global media accounts currently reviewing it’s probably pretty busy elsewhere).
Ogilvy is what we might call a full service creative agency, with a large number of specialist units like OgilvyOne in its armoury. The Coke media business it’s pitching for is reported to be something called ‘Connections,’ which seems to be new ways of organising media strategy and practice.
One of Coke’s top marketers is Ivan Pollard (left), a Brit with the title of senior vice-president global connections (strangely enough). He says: “We have invited Ogilvy instead of Carat to provide an alternative perspective on communications strategy.”
Pollard, of course, was a partner in Naked, a company that tried to revolutionise the media agency world by presuading clients to put clever strategy ahead of conventional planning and buying. It didn’t really work although Naked certainly made an impact and established an international network of sorts.
All WPP’s media agencies, grouped under GroupM, use deals and prices negotiated centrally at GroupM. So, in theory, there’s no reason why Ogilvy shouldn’t handle communications planning, working alongside the more orthodox services offered by MediaCom.
The emergence of such a new-style WPP combo won’t reassure Publicis Group’s Starcom MediaVest, which is facing other media reviews besides, including Procter & Gamble in North America. But it might be pleased to see the back of Carat, which has reeled in General Motors and Microsoft recently in global reviews.