MEC Keeps $100 Million Activision Foreign Biz


Gaming titan Activision Blizzard has retained WPP’s MEC as its media agency for markets outside the U.S. after a review, according to sources. Annual ad spending covered by the assignment is roughly $100 million.

The review was limited to the client’s two primary media roster shops, including Omnicom’s OMD, which currently handles Activision’s North American media assignment and MEC, the incumbent on the client’s business outside North America.

The NA portion of the media account -- where the client also spent close to $100 million on ads last year per Kantar Media- -- was not part of the review.

Sources described the review as “procurement focused” and said the client was looking at both agency fees and the cost of media time and space.



An Activision rep did not return a query seeking comment. The agencies declined to comment or referred calls to the client.

Activision has been busy in the agency review department for the past few years. The most recent review was the third reassessment of its media assignment, or major portions of it, in as many years.

It was less than three years ago, in June 2009, that MEC was awarded global media duties on the account, following the merger of Activision and Blizzard. At the time, MEC was the Blizzard incumbent. Then last year, Activision pulled the North American portion of the account from MEC without a formal review and assigned it to OMD.

On the creative side, the client awarded MDC’s 72andSunny creative chores on the hit game "Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3" last fall and a year earlier stripped Crispin Porter + Bogusky of creative duties on another popular game, "Guitar Hero," and handed those chores to TBWA/Chiat/Day, the Omnicom agency.

On the digital front, it picked Sapient Nitro last year as its primary digital agency after previously working with a number of digital shops on a project basis.

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