GroupM Shifts Target, NBCU Accounts To Essence

In its bid to bulk up and expand the scope of Essence, the digital shop it acquired control of in 2015, GroupM disclosed today that it was shifting two hefty-sized accounts—NBCUniversal and Target—to the agency.

NBCUniversal will shift from sister agency Maxus, which is being merged into MEC. Target is serviced by a dedicated agency, Team Arrow, which will now be folded into Essence.

Essence’s total agency billings will grow to almost $3 billion as a result of the shifts, with more than half of those billings coming from its two new clients.

The moves aren’t unexpected.

When it disclosed the MEC-Maxus merger, GroupM indicated the consolidation would free up resources to expand Essence into a fuller-service agency — providing both digital and traditional media services — with a larger geographical footprint.

At the time, GroupM also said the plan included ramping up Essence so that it could lead a number of key GroupM client relationships.

As part of the client shift, Pam Sullivan, currently managing director of Maxus Los Angeles, will join Essence and continue to lead the NBCUniversal account. Jason Harrison, currently CEO of Team Arrow, will retain oversight of Team Arrow/Target, now that it’s part of Essence. 

Sullivan and Harrison will report directly to Essence’s global CEO, Christian Juhl.

The two new accounts are expected to be fully absorbed by Essence by the end of the year.


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