The month is only half over, but it’s shaping up to be a big one for Omnicom in the new business department.
Last week, Omnicom agency network BBDO won the Ford global creative account — an account that WPP agencies had a stranglehold on for decades.
Today, Omnicom CEO John Wren confirmed on a conference call with investors and analysts that AT&T is “in the process of” consolidating its huge WarnerMedia media account with Hearts & Science, one of the three big media agencies under the Omnicom Media Group fold.
That would include the recently acquired Time Warner properties, which AT&T has renamed WarnerMedia.
“In the process of” apparently means the contracts aren’t signed yet, which is probably why a WarnerMedia spokesman declined to confirm the development earlier today.
The WarnerMedia group includes the Warner Bros. studio, the Turner cable TV networks and HBO, which spent over $600 million, $100 million and $80 million, respectively on measured media last year, according to Kantar Media.
H&S has handled the estimated $2 billion AT&T media assignment since 2016. The telecom giant closed its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner in June.
Parent Omnicom Media Group has had a relationship with Warner Bros. since 2011, when the movie studio shifted its media assignment from WPP’s MediaCom. In 2016, however, the studio shifted the digital portion of the account, estimated at the time to be about $250 million in billings to Merkle, part of Dentsu Aegis.
Merkle has also handled media for HBO, while Horizon Media has worked with the Turner Networks (TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon, among others) since winning the group’s buying assignment in 2014.
Wren said on the call he was “cautiously optimistic” the big wins would help spark greater organic growth in the firm’s North American region, when they kick in early next year. The region has been a laggard lately in terms of growth.
Also helping, said Wren, is that clients are finally beginning to spend a little more on ads and related activity than they have over the past year or so.