Barclays Awards Maxus Global Media Duties, Ad Spend Estimated At $150M

WPP's Maxus has been awarded international media planning and buying duties for financial firm Barclays after a formal consolidation review, the client has confirmed.

Barclays confirmed that it spends about $150 million annually on ads, and that the initial contract with Maxus has a three-year term. The assignment covers multiple markets, including the UK and the U.S., and parts of Asia and The Middle East.

Commenting on the process, the client stated: "By bringing our media buying into a single agency, we will continue to strengthen the Barclays brand around the globe in the most cost-efficient way."

A Barclays spokesman also confirmed that contenders in the review included the UK incumbent on the account, independent agency Walker Media teaming with Havas' MPG. The agencies proposed that Walker would handle the UK business, while MPG would handle other markets, including the U.S.

Competing media shops (at least in the U.S.) don't often team up, but it has been done. Horizon Media and Omnicom's OMD, which compete in reviews, teamed up for this summer's Comcast review.

Also contending separately for Barclays was Havas Media, as well as OMD, per the client.

The Barclays assignment will be handled out of the Maxus office in London, with assistance from agency teams in New York, Hong Kong and Dubai, per sources.

The victory extends a win streak for Maxus that ignited this summer with two huge assignments, including the domestic NBC Universal TV and Universal Studios film accounts, with estimated ad spending of $1 billion. Maxus out-dueled incumbents Horizon, which handled NBC and Omnicom's OMD, which ran the film portion of the account.

Shortly after the NBC win, Maxus prevailed in the S.C. Johnson review, adding nearly another $1 billion in global media duties that were handled jointly by Interpublic shops DraftFCB and Initiative.

The latest win comes as Maxus, WPP's rapidly growing fourth agency network, is expanding its North American operations, with new offices in Los Angles, Toronto and Mexico City.

Maxus declined to comment, referring calls to the client.

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