Facebook media agency incumbent GroupM has withdrawn from the client’s ongoing global agency review.
Facebook kicked off the review in March of this year. GroupM’s Mindshare has been the primary incumbent while Dentsu has held a smaller portion of the account.
The review was launched shortly after the appointment of a new CMO at the client — Alex Schultz, who replaced Antonio Lucio.
COMvergence estimates that the social media giant spent an estimated $742 million worldwide on measured media in 2020. U.S. spending totaled approximately $490 million last year, according to Kantar.
A GroupM spokeperson issued this comment: “GroupM has decided to withdraw from Facebook’s global media review. While we will not be participating in the review, we look ahead to future opportunities building on the successful work we created together since 2014. We are proud of the work that our teams and people have done for Facebook and wish them the very best in their media selection process.”
GroupM didn’t provide a definitive reason for exiting the review. But its decision follows recent departures of senior executives at Facebook including long-time head of advertising Carolyn Everson who was the company’s senior most liaison with brands and agencies.
Everson, who announced last month she was leaving, had reported to David Fischer Chief Revenue Officer who announced he was leaving around the time the agency review was launched.
Facebook has been a magnet for criticism for not vetting more thoroughly extremist views on its platform, raising brand safety concerns for some, although it was not known if that directly contributed to GroupM’s decision to withdraw from the review.
Recently Facebook has come under fire from the White House for allowing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines to be disseminated on its platform, although the social network has pushed back arguing that it has encouraged vaccinations and taken some measures to remove outright falsehoods that have been posted about vaccines.
Facebook hadn’t returned a request for comment about GroupM’s decision to withdraw from the review as of this posting.