AT&T is conducting of a review of its creative and media assignments with the intention of consolidating with a single holding company, a rep for the telecom giant confirmed Thursday.
Currently, most of the business is handled by Omnicom and WPP shops, and those are the two holding companies that will vie for the account.
The firm’s total advertising expenses were nearly $3.3 billion, according to its 2015 annual report. U.S. media spending totaled $1.8 billion last year, down from $2 billion in 2014 according to Kantar Media.
The primary media incumbent is WPP’s MEC, which won a consolidation review back in 2007, when the client was spending an estimated $2.3 billion annually. Prior to that review five shops handled the business including MEC, Digitas, GSD&M Idea City, Initiative and OMD.
Creative duties are currently handled by BBDO and Grey Advertising.
AT&T issued this statement about the review:
“We’ve begun a formal advertising media and creative agency review that will cover all traditional and digital services in the U.S. for our Entertainment Group, Business Solutions and Corporate Brand work. We plan to move to a single integrated media and creative operating model made up of affiliated agencies. Doing so will improve efficiencies, quality and consistency across our portfolio.
"Today we use BBDO (Omnicom) and Grey Advertising (WPP) for creative, and MEC (WPP) for the vast majority of our media buying. Only WPP and Omnicom are being asked to participate in the review process. We expect the review to be completed, and the business awarded, by late summer.”
MediaLink is assisting AT&T with the review process.