COMvergence is out with a new study of agency review activity in the U.S. for the last two years (2020 and 2021) and found that 75 advertisers placed both their creative and media accounts in review during that time.
Thirty of the 75 marketers conducted an integrated pitch (creative and media) and 23 selected agencies from the same holding company.
Six other advertisers chose creative and media agencies within the same holding company, but the selection was done separately with a different deadline and not during an integrated review.
Among holding company pitches, Omnicom agencies/units were selected most, with seven wins (Home Depot, Mercedes-Benz, Philips, Fruit of the Loom, Moderna, San Diego Zoo, Schwan’s Foods).
WPP (Coca-Cola, Walgreens, Ecolab, U.S. Navy) and Interpublic (Cigna, Terminix, Tonal, Groupon) were chosen four times. Dentsu won three such pitches (FTX, Cracker Barrel, John Hancock Financial), while Stagwell (Con Edison, Milk Processor Education Program) and Publicis Groupe (Walmart, Planet Fitness) were selected twice and Havas once (Land O’Lakes).
Aligning with growing demand to have accounts served by a dedicated team, holding companies have set up bespoke client units or standalone agencies for a growing number of key clients. COMvergence compiled a more detailed list of those units earlier but recent examples include WPP's OpenX for Coca-Cola and Publicis Groupe's PubW for Walmart.
Six advertisers combined their creative and media assignments within a single agency. Four of the six were won by Independents: Delta Faucet (Barkley); Edible (Tombras); Kohler (Principal Media); and The Salvation Army (Lerma/). The remaining two were won by holding company agencies: Fruit of the Loom (GSD&M) and Milk Processor Education Program (Gale).
Olivier Gauthier, CEO and Founder at COMvergence notes that the number of integrated reviews increased fourfold in 2021 versus the prior year. The research, he added shows that six of the 30 advertisers that conducted a single integrated review had media spend greater than $100 million. The budget for the remaining marketers ranged between $4 million and $88 million.