Citi, the giant financial services company (including Citibank) is conducting a global media agency consolidation review, according to sources.
Incumbents include MEC, which has handled Citi’s U.S. media planning and buying since 2007. Both MEC and Starcom MediaVest Group handle regions outside the U.S. Both shops are expected to defend.
Other media roster shops could not be immediately identified.
The firm spent $1.8 billion on marketing and advertising in 2014 and 2013, according to the company’s latest 10-K SEC filing. The firm did not spell out what portion of that was allocated to media spending.
In the U.S., Citi spent $332 million on ads in 2014 -- down about 8% from the $362 million it spent in 2013, per Kantar.
The review follows last year’s appointment of Heather Cox as Citi’s chief client experience, digital and marketing officer, global consumer banking. It wasn’t clear whether the firm has hired an outside consultant to help it with the review.
The move by Citi is the latest in a number of big media agency reviews that are ongoing. Others include reviews by Coca-Cola, L'Oreal, SC Johnson and Visa.
A Citi rep declined to comment when asked about the review, as did the agencies.