Sainsbury’s has confirmed what everyone knew: viz, that it’s keeping its media account at Omnicom’s PHD which is also set to pick up Argos (which Sainsbury’s now owns) from WPP’s Mindshare.
Small earthquake in the supermarket, not many dead then?
Not quite because PHD challenged the outcome of a closed review, which pitched incumbent PHD in a losing battle against The&Partnership’s m/SIX, on procedural grounds – that it was not fair to a supplier – and so the review was re-run. But PHD triumphed in the end because it took the opportunity to cut its prices, as Sainsbury’s has admitted. Sainsbury’s is trying to cut £500m from costs in a fierce grocery market.
So what did ‘procedure’ have to do with it?
The&Partnership’s m/SIX operation has done well to challenge the media agency establishment (its price deals are negotiated by WPP’s GroupM) but T&P supremo Johnny Hornby must sometimes wonder what he’s got himself into.
This particular case is a shabby business.