Who will win the great $20bn media review marathon?

At some stage this year we’ll be able to tot up the winners and losers in the media review stakes; there’s over $20bn of media up for review, about half in the US.

So far we’ve only had the results of (relatively) smaller pitches: the biggest is Coke’s $405m US account going to Interpublic’s UM, £70m Lidl in the UK choosing Publicis Groupe’s Starcom Mediavest and, today, DHL shifting its European media from Aegis-owned Carat to WPP’s MEC.

The real biggies are Unilever and Volkswagen globally and P&G and L’Oreal in the US.

quarterly_earnings_agenciesWPP has the most to lose (it is the biggest though, through its GroupM media holding company) with Mindshare defending $3bn or so of Unilever and MediaCom with $3bn at VW and Sony. Starcom and Publicis Groupe’s other big media agency ZenithOptimedia have $5bn or so in play, with P&G, Mondelez and 20th Century Fox the stand-outs. Starcom has already lost Coke to UM and declined to pitch for the GSK/Novartis $1bn consumer health business (it handled Novartis).

Dentsu Aegis network has just $1.5bn in play (its share of P&G, Mondelez and Sony). Aegis declined to pitch for Coke, surprisingly, and, as we’ve noted has just lost its chunk of DHL. But it must be hot favourite for Sony, which is putting all its media into one basket, through its Japanese Dentsu connections. At some stage it will face a review of its $3bn General Motors business.

Omnicom is pretty clear too, the main account at risk being PHD’s $1bn Unilever planning budget. OMD, the big Omnicom media agency, doesn’t appear to be defending anything but it doesn’t appear to be pitching for much either.

IPG’s UM is defending its slices of Sony, L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson among others, about $2.5bn.

So Aegis and Omnicom can rest relatively easy, with Aegis having the biggest opportunity to raid its rivals. The stakes are high indeed though for WPP, Publicis Group and IPG, particularly in the all-important US market.

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