Direct Line reviews £100m media – is new EssenceMediacom having teething problems?

WPP’s mighty MediaCom – now merged, more or less, with Essence to form EssenceMediacom – is facing two big reviews. Tesco is reportedly down to the last two in its review – MediaCom (although not EssenceMediacom for conflict reasons) and Publicis’ Zenith.

Now Direct Line (above) is reviewing its £100m plus media account with EssenceMediacom (yes, this is getting complicated) up against Dentsu’s Carat, Publicis’ Spark Foundry and Omnicom Media Group.

MediaCom (as was) had about 40% of the UK media agency market before it was lumped together with the much smaller Essence (formerly Maxus in the UK); presumably to underline Essence’s digital media ‘smarts.’ But, as above, there was a conflict issue with some clients, including Tesco (which doesn’t take kindly to such things.)

The US is EssenceMediacom’s biggest market, where there seem to be fewer issues, but, even so, one has to question the decision to merge the two, rather different agencies. Especially as Essence seems to be in the lead (Mediacom has now been reduced to second place and lower case.)

Big clients reviewing big spends doesn’t always indicate dissatisfaction with the current agency of course. But it will be uncomfortable for MediaCom – or EssenceMediacom – to find itself on the back foot.

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About Stephen Foster

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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