Social app TikTok is shifting its global media agency assignment from PHD to Zenith effective next month, according to sources familiar with the development.
The switch comes just a year after PHD won the assignment — awarded with a somewhat unusual one-year contract. Usually, agency assignments come with multiyear agreements, albeit with opt-out clauses for both sides.
The one-year deal was likely driven by a conflict with PHD’s Twitter assignment in the UK, not to mention another client, YouTube owner Google, which isn’t exactly thrilled that TikTok may end up being acquired by Microsoft.
Google has other reasons for being annoyed with the Chinese social app. The Wall Street Journalreported earlier this week that TikTok collected data from millions of mobile devices to track android users in violation of Google privacy restrictions.
Separately, as part of its broader technology and trade fight with the Chinese, the Trump administration has threatened to ban TikTok in the U.S. if that operation isn’t sold to a U.S. buyer by the end of next month.
Sounds like PHD is off-loading a heaping pile of headaches, along with this client, which spent around $7 million last year on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar. Global spending figures weren’t immediately available.
The agencies and client didn’t return queries seeking comment on the switch.