AB InBev global media pitch is big challenge for Dentsu

Big media reviews seem to happen almost daily these days but AB InBev’s global review is worth noting: it spends around $5bn on advertising including some of the drinks world’s most famous brands. The review is supposed to conclude in Spring 2022, which means hours of fun for the three competitors – Dentsu, Publicis and WPP.

AB InBev says: “This next phase of our transformation requires that we combine our internal capabilities with the external media and data ecosystem to enable deeper consumer understanding and the creation of campaigns which engage consumers in more meaningful and relevant ways. We have invited incumbent agency partners to join us in this process and will have an update on the outcome in spring 2022.” Only an update then, maybe there’ll be a second round.

Dentsu has the business in North America and Europe with bits and pieces at the other two. so this is a big call for Dentsu, which has been lagging its rivals in the global pitch stakes, as it is for Dentsu International’s new(ish) boss Wendy Clark.

Clark is a former senior marketer at Coca-Cola and, latterly, global boss of DDB. As ever these days the emphasis is on data and personalised communications, key planks in the (possibly mythical) “transformation” all big advertisers say they’re seeking.

WPP will field its new data entity Choreograph while Publicis has Epsilon and Sapient ready for the off. Dentsu no doubt has big data resources of its own but this particular pitch looks a challenging, even defining test.

Update

Santander is also reportedly reviewing its substantial European media account, currently shared between Dentsu’s Carat and Havas.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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