Commentary

Busy Time For Wavemaker As It Fights To Win, Retain Business

Merging agencies is a tricky business. 

Take Wavemaker, which is the product of the merger of GroupM’s MEC and Maxus. The merger was announced last year, but as is the case with most mergers, this one seems to be taking a little time to gel. 

Meanwhile, the firm has had to carry on business as usual, because it has clients to serve. And a good number of those clients have tested whether the merger is in their best interests by reviewing their media assignments. 

As a result, the merged firm has been winning and losing clients left and right in recent months. 

This week alone the shop received both good and bad news from clients.

Today, Ikea confirmed that it has selected Wavemaker to handle its estimated $110 million U.S. media account. It’s a retention, as MEC was the incumbent on the assignment. The decision came after a review that started around the time the Visigoths sacked ancient Rome. It was a lengthy review but not that lengthy. It started quite a while ago however, back in 2016. 

That was the good news. Earlier in the week, biotechnology firm Amgen selected Omnicom’s Hearts & Science as the new media AOR for its $300 million-plus account. MEC was the incumbent and Wavemaker tried to defend. 

The new company has won some and lost some. This year, it has also won Adobe, Danone and Formula 1.

On the flip side, it’s also recently lost Campbell’s and Marriott, accounting for a combined half a billion in billings give or take.

Yep, the merged firm is definitely being tested. But hey, that’s life in the big leagues, which is something the firm constantly reminds people it is in, as an agency with $1 billion in annual revenues.

And if the shop's managers get it right, the big leagues is where it will stay. And being part of GroupM, it doesn't really have a choice.

 

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