Industry Update Volume 20

Executive Summary – Monthly Recap:

As one might expect, Mobile World Congress and South by Southwest® (SXSW) gathered brands and agencies inspired to discuss the convergence of mobile, interactive media, film, music in culture, advertising and technology. TV Upfront and Digital NewFronts 2017 are well under way. In agency news, recent reviews were triggered by growing concerns over transparency and eroding trust in client/agency relationships, which have been scrutinized in recent months by scandals in production and rebate media activities. Automaker Honda’s recent decision to shift its $500 million media-buying business from Publicis’s Mediavest Spark to an independent agency (RPA) took place after the brand learned of “troubling alleged irregularities in how its account was handled,” citing delayed media company payments by the agency, handling of bonuses and overcharge concerns. Reversely, Butler Shine Stern & Partners resigned the Mini USA account after 11.5 years, citing BMW’s “aggressive cost-cutting and procurement mandated reviews,” showing the side effect of repeated account reviews. 2016 was very active with mergers and acquisitions in the advertising industry. Accenture’s deal to buy London creative agency Karmarama was another daring move by a consulting firm to buy its way into the advertising business.
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Newsworthy reports and recent developments:

At AMS, we approach the agency management discipline as four distinct but complementary practice areas – Talent, Work, Financials, and Performance and Value— which is how we categorize the following developments:

TALENT: securing the right talent and resources

The M&A report by COMvergence provided great insight on the state of the industry and the priorities of the major holding companies in terms of talent capability building. For most of the holding companies, digital acquisitions focused on strengthening data and analytics capabilities first, and to a lesser degree, media/activation and creative/production offerings. Publicis Groupe was an exception, per the report, which found that the deals strengthened its media/activation offering first, followed by data and analytics. Among the IT and consulting firms venturing into the ad business, IBM iX and Accenture Digital were the most acquisitive in 2016, each making seven M&A deals.

  • Per the Boston Consulting Group study about digital skillsets, advertisers gave themselves an average score of 57 (out of 100) on their digital capabilities, compared to agencies, which gave themselves average scores of 68. Both advertisers and agencies cited weaknesses in mobile and video channels.
  • Per Spencer Stuart, the average length of a CMO’s stay at the largest American brands has dropped for the second consecutive year, from 44 months in 2015 to 42 months last year.
  • Advertising agencies such as Publicis Media, R/GA and 360i are increasingly adding business strategy services to combat the rising competition from IT and consulting companies.
  • Is Google the sleeping giant? Quite possibly, given that Amazon is aggressively chasing its multi-billion-dollar ad business. The new Amazon Video Ads offering allows brands to effectively reach Amazon customers with targeted video on Amazon’s websites and mobile apps, across phone, tablet and desktop placements.
  • Bringing Wall Street to Madison Avenue, Nasdaq is launching the New York Interactive Advertising Exchange (NYIAX) this year, using blockchain technology to bring greater transparency, among other benefits (fraud and under-delivery detection, re-trade positions, ad placement verification and discovery), to the process of buying and selling media.
  • Wanderbrief, the creative network startup, lets writers, designers, videographers and photographers submit their portfolios to its website to apply for project gigs at agencies or brands like Adobe, Red Bull, Heineken, Porsche, Vodafone and Amnesty International. Instead of accepting money, they work in exchange for airfare, room and board.
  • Data science company 4C Insights unveiled tools to help TV advertisers gain a more in-depth understanding of viewers, using social media analytics, real-time viewing stats and household-level data. Products in the suite include programmatic buying with predictive capabilities and linked digital and TV ads.
  • Omnicom Group’s TBWA Worldwide bought a majority stake in one of London’s hottest agencies, Lucky Generals. They will form a new TBWA U.K. Group, with the two agencies continuing to operate as separate companies.
  • Global communications service group WPP announced the formation of WPP Health & Wellness, a sub-holding company it said unites its “broad capability” under one specialized healthcare unit, which will include specialist agencies: Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, Sudler & Hennessey, ghg | greyhealth group and CMI/Compas.
  • Omnicom Group shifted the geographic center of its Nissan account in the U.S. to the East Coast from Los Angeles, where TBWA\Chiat\Day had been servicing the creative account since 1987, to get agency resources closer to Nissan North America’s headquarters. The brand has its own Omnicom dedicated unit, known globally as Nissan United, which includes resources from TBWA\Chiat\Day, Zimmerman Advertising, OMD and other Omnicom agencies.
  • According to the COMvergence’s M&A report (called RADAR) for 2016:

»» Six major holding companies (WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic, Publicis Group, Dentsu and Havas Group) completed 91 agency acquisitions (defined as at least a 50% stake in the acquired firm) during the year.
»» An additional 25 agencies were bought by four major IT and consulting companies (Accenture Digital, IBM IX, Deloitte Digital and PwC Digital) for a total of 116 acquisitions between the two groups.
»» Dentsu was the most acquisitive agency holding company, making 39 acquisitions. WPP was the second most acquisitive holding company. Publicis Groupe scored nine deals with combined staff of 455 and $54 million of revenue. Havas made four deals and Omnicom Group bought three shops.
»» The biggest deal was Dentsu’s purchase of a majority stake of data and tech-driven marketing shop Merkle Group, with a staff of 3,400 and revenues of $436 million. WPP’s acquisition of Triad Retail Media was the second largest deal of the year (700 staff and $120 million in revenue).

Mergers & Acquisitions Report — Full Year 2016 (courtesy of COMvergence:

WORK: producing great work and outcomes

Mobile video is so massive as a growth opportunity for advertisers that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told shareholders that the company was going “video-first” because “video is a megatrend on the same order as mobile.” Google struggled to meet demands of advertisers for better filters on its YouTube platform. A rising number of advertisers, including AT&T, Verizon, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Johnson & Johnson and Enterprise Holdings Inc., pulled their advertising while others reduced their ad budget with Google amid concerns of their ad placements on objectionable content.

  • Financial institution JPMorgan Chase decided to slash the number of sites where it advertises to 5,000 from some 400,000, apparently bringing no significant hit to effectiveness and no hike in prices. The move was made to take some control over their ad buys back from tech platforms.
  • Pepsi pulled Kendall Jenner’s Jump In ad spot after complaints the spot appropriated the Black Lives Matter movement for commercial gain. The ad was produced by in-house content creation team Creators League Studio.
  • Telecommunications firms no longer need to get permission to market customers’ app and web-browsing history after House lawmakers approved a bill to overturn an FCC privacy rule.
  • Breaking new ground, 360i created buzz for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” with a Facebook Live stream that showed a massive block of ice slowly melting before the debut date for season seven, which was hidden inside, was revealed to fans. It encouraged consumers to post the word “fire” to spur a flamethrower to melt the ice quickly.
  • IPG Mediabrands and MillerCoors launched “Miller Lite On-Demand,” a range of connected home services that enable people to order beer via Amazon Alexa or by pushing a button that uses Amazon Dash Button hardware.
  • The agency Unlimited, which is dedicated to one single client, McDonald’s, is centered around a data-focused Cortex unit (a sort of collaborative, data-informed strategy team of 34 members bringing together people, process and technology), which meets four times a week with creative and brand executives to discuss content and social strategy.
  • Warner Bros.’ marketing strategy for “The Lego Batman Movie” was a hit for brand partners such as Chevrolet, which created its very own Batmobile using 344,000 Lego bricks. A spoof ad attracted 2.6 million organic YouTube views.

Noteworthy quotes:
»» “Four days a week, we have a session in our social studio room. The Cortex gathers with creative as well as clients and goes through an assessment of what’s happening in culture, with the competition and with the brand over the last 24-36 hours. After the session is concluded, we make decisions on what sort of content we’re going to go develop” Brian Nienhaus, CEO, Unlimited
»» “We used to outsource all our execution to agencies, which did not work well because we did not have the agility to work quickly. We’ve now insourced a lot of
execution, we still have major agency relationships, but they are much more strategic and long term in nature. All the areas around email, search, and programmatic advertising were in-sourced.” Simon Morris, senior director of campaign marketing, consumer, and SMB, Adobe
»» “Little wonder more and more marketers are bypassing their so-called AORs and giving more and more projects to shops founded on creative excellence. Automation, it seems, can lead the horse to water, but it can’t make it drink. Only world-class creative intuition can do that.” Mark Wnek, chief creative officer, On an airplane mostly
»» “I like to think of a brand as a metaphor for a story. Being the story and telling the story at the same time is rarely a successful combination. A good agency will provide objective examination, done with real rigor, of how, where, why and when to tell a brand story. And that is a very valuable thing.” Jason Snyder, chief technology officer, Momentum Worldwide

FINANCIALS: driving efficient use of resources

Global internet ad spend is predicted to increase 13% this year to reach $205 billion, per Zenith Media, surpassing TV for the first time. Social media is predicted to be the fastest growing form of internet ad spend, increasing 20% to reach $55 billion. The report also predicts that the global ad market will continue to grow at a rate of 4-5% a year through 2019. Google’s dominance of search and Facebook’s dominance of display are likely to continue over the next few years, especially in mobile. Duopoly Google and Facebook control 57% of all mobile advertising and will see their dominance grow through 2019, reaching 60%, according to eMarketer.

  • Google announced that users are collectively watching over 1 billion hours of YouTube content daily. YouTube is well positioned to grow its share of video ad spending as it offers a great TV replacement alternative.
  • The volume and size of video is having a massive impact on mobile traffic, accounting for 60% of total mobile data traffic in 2016, per Citrix. Video is expected to grow to 78% of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2021.
  • Per eMarketer, Amazon is set to surpass $1 billion in U.S. advertising revenue in 2017, becoming a massive disruptor in the ad industry. Amazon has access to data captured from millions of customer searches, purchases and streams.
  • Goldman Sachs decided to invest $95 million in the agency holding company MDC, whose portfolio of agencies includes 72andSunny, CP&B, Doner, KBS, Laird & Partners, Redscout and Vitro, ultimately owning 15% of the company. MDC ranked 13th among agency holding companies in 2015.
  • Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity parent company Ascential purchased MediaLink in a $69 million deal.
  • NBC Universal has been investing in digital media companies, including $400 million in Buzzfeed and $200 million in Vox. It also recently invested $500 million in Snap Inc. as part of the social-media company’s initial public offering.
  • Per eMarketer, Native Advertising will account for over half of all display advertising revenue in 2017, mostly coming from channels other than social media platforms, including media and publishing web sites. Overall native advertising spending will increase 33% to $22.09 billion in 2017 and is estimated to grow 28% in 2018, reaching $28.24 billion. Per Business Insider Intelligence, native advertising’s share of U.S. online ad revenue will rise from 56% last year to 74% in 2021, with social video one of the biggest growth drivers. Will native advertising continue to grow rapidly in light of FTC concerns? Earlier this year, a study by MediaRadar found that 37% of publishers weren’t complying with the FTC rules on disclosure in 2016.
  • Per the U.S. Census Bureau, newspaper revenues have tumbled by almost half, with a 45% decrease from $46.4 billion in 2007 to last year’s figure. Magazine revenues fell 42% from a starting level of $47.5 billion in 2007.

»» Omnicom Group reported modest gains with 1.9% revenue growth for 2016, reaching $15.4 billion. Organic growth was strong at 3.6% but operating margin was lower than its peers.
»» Interpublic Group of Cos. reported strong momentum, especially from McCann Worldgroup, FCB, Deutsch, The Martin Agency, Hill Holliday, Weber Shandwick, with organic growth rising 5.3% to $7.8 billion in 2016.
»» WPP reported significant revenue growth across all geographic regions and strong performance in all operating segments. WPP completed 56 acquisitions worldwide, across all spectrums of its business, in 2016. Branding and identity, healthcare and specialist communications showed a robust performance in 2016, rising 23.2% YOY. Revenues from Advertising and Media Investment Management improved 17.9%.
»» Publicis Groupe’s consolidated revenue in 2016 rose 1.4% to 9.7 billion euro (about $10.4 billion). Organic growth was 0.7% in 2016. The Groupe’s growth continued to be driven by its digital activities, which posted organic growth of 3.2%, while non-digital activities continued to decline. As Maurice Levy prepares to step down, Publicis is taking a $1.5 billion impairment charge for 2016, mostly against Publicis. Sapient, the division the firm created to house its keydigital properties, citing Razorfish and “negative growth” for the year in double digits. Publicis reported a 2.5% drop in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016.
»» Others: Havas revenues were $2.4 billion for the year and organic growth of 4.2% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and organic growth of 3.1% for the full year. Most of Havas’ clients have kicked off media audits over the last year. Havas made five acquisitions last year. The creative group accounts for 63% of revenues and the media group for 37%.

  • Noteworthy quotes:

»» “The thing that makes We Are Unlimited unique is the idea that all of the agencies that come together to support it are aligned both financially and strategically for the brand. It’s one P&L, all orchestrated under Unlimited, and that’s an important change in how we think. There is no vying for a bigger piece of the pie.” Brian Nienhaus, CEO, Unlimited
»» “It is entirely up to a client in how they spend their money, but the issue is ‘are in-house units competing fairly?’ and we do not think they do when they bid against independent companies. You are creating an environment where you are both a player and a referee.” Steve Davies, CEO, Advertising Producers Association
»» “People are spending about a quarter of their time on mobile, and yet it only accounts for around 12% of spending. That’s out of kilter and, it has to change,” Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP
Financial performance of major holding companies in 2016:


PERFORMANCE AND VALUE: driving stronger performance and value from the partnership

Research by the World Federation of Advertisers reveals that nearly 90% of advertisers are “reviewing and resetting contracts and business models.” 70% of those surveyed use
Agency Trading Desks, mostly within agencies. However, 46% use Independent Trading Desks (12% increase since 2014), and 53% have a “disclosed or transparent” relationship with their programmatic provider. Most brands are looking to their agencies for answers. Forrester reports that more than half of brands depend on agencies to manage their data platforms,
and that 57% use consumer insights to make marketing decisions. At least 45% of marketers intend to increase their agency spend over the next two years, and the majority want their agencies to place strategic importance on data and technology.

  • Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity chose Burger King (owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc.) as the Creative Marketer of the Year for 2017. The brand works with a variety of agencies around the world, ranging from AKQA, Buzzman and Cheil Worldwide to Code and Theory, and David.
  • The Coalition for Better Ads ( standards/), a group made up of powerhouse companies like Google, Unilever and GroupM, has created worldwide standards to tackle ad blocking by identifying 18 irritating ad formats that advertisers should avoid, such as autoplay videos, pop-ups and mobile prestitial ads. 615 million devices now use adblocking software, equating to 11% of the global internet population who are blocking ads, according to PageFair.
  • Amazon is recruiting brands in its Alexa voice ecosystem and launched an online hub to help them get started with creating “skills” (Amazon’s word for apps) for the Echo device family. The hub lists 20 agencies “with expertise in designing, developing and optimizing Alexa skills,” including Razorfish, Mobiquity, VaynerMedia and others.
  • Why do CMOs get fired so often? Per former McKinsey partner Thomas Barta: conflicting company goals, disproportionately small marketing budgets and a lac of understanding about how marketing drives business growth.
  • Per ID Comms, 79% of media agencies and marketers say that their media advertising buying decisions are mainly made on cost, but should instead be more influenced by strategic factors.
  • ANA called for audits at Amazon, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Foursquare, as these digital advertising platforms have not yet adopted independent audits of ad campaigns. In a positive move, Google and Facebook announced plans to allow audits by the Media Rating Council.
  • Twitter teamed with Dentsu Aegis Network to offer pre-roll video ads that the company guarantees will be viewed by target audiences, adhere to Media Ratings Council standards and come with third-party verification measures.
  • Three major TV network groups — Fox Networks Group, Turner and Viacom — have partnered to create OpenAP, a cross-platform “advanced audience” measurement body, to give advertisers third-party measurement for premium content.
  • Ad fraud will cost advertisers an estimated $16.4 billion globally this year, according to WPP-backed agency The&Partnership and its independent media arm m/Six and Adloox. The figure is double the original amount estimated to be lost in 2016. The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) claims that ad fraud is “second only to the drugs trade” as a source of income for organized crime, and will cost brands more than $50 billion by 2025.

Noteworthy quotes:
»» “Partnerships in the world of ad business are increasingly measured in terms of intensity, peak experiences and results. Not in terms of length.” Arvind Krishnan, managing director, BBH India
»» “Tens of thousands of consumers have made their opinions clear through this robust research. Consumers in North America and Europe have similar views on online ad experiences they find annoying and disruptive. All online ad industry constituents should
take a hard look at the findings. They provide valuable insights for the development of consumer-friendly ad campaigns.” Bob Liodice, CEO, ANA
»» “As an industry, we have a responsibility to find better ways of making great advertising and content that really engages people. It’s in everyone’s interest; better advertising leads to a better experience for the viewer and more effective advertising for brand.” Keith Weed, chief marketing officer, Unilever
»» “Agencies need to get back to what they do best. They have always built fantastic impactful work when they have based it on great human insight. But they have been focusing too much on digital for digital’s sake. Great work is based on human truths and powerful ideas, then think about execution and the relevant way to produce the work.” Rob Newlan, EMEA regional director, Facebook’s Creative Shop
»» “But if you do make the call for a pitch and eventually make the decision on a new partner, try to do the only thing that feels right for me at this moment: know there were other equally awesome alternatives, know there were other agencies that could’ve crushed it for your company, but throw your arms around the agency you’ve chosen and hold on tight.” Michael Fanuele, chief creative officer, General Mills

Major global and regional media pitches in Q1 2017 (courtesy of COMvergence):
Disclaimer: The reviews listed often capture larger review activity reported in the industry trade press, which we understand to be only a subset of total review activity. Specialist reviews (digital, social, PR, etc.) are rarely reported in the trade press. Also, due to the increasing number of project reviews (versus AOR/retainer reviews), many of those are not receiving media attention and therefore are not included here.

  • Publicis Media has shown the strongest performance in Q1 2017 by winning four out of the 11 completed major multi-market/global pitches — totaling about $630 million of additional net new billings (and no major loss).
  • OMG has scored an overall negative new business result (new clients – losses + retentions) of -$185 million, while Media Brands lost the MillerCoors account in the U.S. (-$435 million).
  • Among the 10 international advertisers that have completed their media pitch in Q1 2017, seven of them have decided to change agencies, two have consolidated their account in to one agency, and only one has retained its existing agency.
  • Another 14 regional/global media reviews are currently underway — totaling $5,6 billion GroupM and Publicis Media agencies are incumbents on more than $3 billion.

This study does not take into consideration some major U.S. local moves announced since the beginning of the year, including KFC and Mattel U.S. (won by Mediavest|Spark), Lowe’s U.S. (won by Starcom), and TJX Cos. (won by Mindshare).

  • MillerCoors moved its media buying and planning business from Interpublic’s Initiative to Publicis Groupe, following a review. The new entity, called Connect at Publicis Media, will draw on talent from standalone agencies Starcom, Zenith, Mediavest Spark, Blue 449 and Performics.
  • Mattel hired a Publicis Groupe team dubbed “Team Mattel,” comprised of Mediavest Spark and DigitasLBi, to handle its $150 million media account in the U.S. following a review. DigitasLBi will focus mainly on content, digital media and programmatic. Mediavest Spark will concentrate on
    planning and offline buying. The duo will replace Publicis Groupe’s Starcom, which was the incumbent on the media
    planning account, while WPP’s Mindshare had media buying responsibilities for Mattel in the U.S.
  • Sports apparel company Under Armour kicked off a review of its media business. Omnicom Media Group’s Optimum Sports has been working on the business since 2011. Droga5 continues to serve as the brand’s creative agency partner.
  • 3M selected Venables Bell & Partners as its new worldwide creative shop after a review, replacing incumbent Grey New York, which didn’t take part in the review. 3M worked with Grey for two decades. The work will encompass all its brands: Post-it, Scotch, ScotchBlue, Scotch-Brite, Nexcare and Filtrete.
  • Omnicom’s OMD retained the Italian eyewear giant Luxottica account and its estimated $250 million global media business after a review. Luxottica consolidated its business with Omnicom in 2012, following a review, replacing incumbent Publicis Starcom. Luxottica is known to work with various agencies, including SapientNitro.
  • Manufacturer of boxed chocolates Russell Stover Chocolates selected WPP’s VML as its agency of record following a review, replacing incumbent FleishmanHillard, which had only worked with the brand for one year.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev has put its multi-billion-dollar global media buying account into a review with the aim of cutting down the number of agencies on its roster.

The brand’s U.S. media is currently handled by WPP’s MediaCom.

  • Darden Restaurants, which owns various brands, including Bahama Breeze, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood Restaurant, Seasons 52 Fresh Grill and Yard House, selected independent The Tombras Group as media agency of record for five of its brands following a competitive review. The new agency will replace incumbent Neo@Ogilvy.
  •  L.L. Bean selected The Via Agency as its new agency of record following a review after working with the agency on a branding project. The brand had previously worked with Erwin Penland since 2014.
  •  Retail Company TJX Cos., parent to Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post, hired WPP media agency Mindshare as its media agency of record for all brands in the U.S., replacing incumbent Hill Holliday’s media shop Trilia, after a review. The agency will handle
    media planning, buying and analytics.
  •  Ecommerce giant eBay selected 72andSunny as its lead global creative agency after a review. eBay previously worked with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Pereira & O’Dell, Venables Bell & Partners and other creative shops over the years. The brand also hired VCCP as its lead agency for Europe.
  • GNC hired Epsilon to handle the development and launch of the company’s new loyalty program technology platform in the U.S., allowing members to earn points and collect rewards for purchases in-store, online and on mobile devices.
  • Coty Inc. selected Droga5 as lead creative agency for its COVERGIRL brand, replacing incumbent agency Grey.
  • Multinational professional services company PwC (aka PricewaterhouseCoopers) has chosen R/GA as its new creative agency partner after a review, replacing incumbent IPG Deutsch, which won the business in 2014. PwC will continue to rely on its in-house team, Digital Services, which employs 3,000 marketing professionals who serve 200 PwC clients across 31 offices.

Office Depot OfficeMax hired Zimmerman Advertising to handle its entire business without a review, ending a twoyear partnership with Interpublic Group. McCann New York
and UM had been handling the chain’s creative and media duties, respectively, since 2014.

  • Tech giant HP Inc. consolidated media duties by shifting its worldwide digital media account from WPP’s Essence to Omnicom’s PHD, which also manages its traditional media.
  • Gaming giant Activision Blizzard is reviewing its global media business. Omnicom’s OMD handles the U.S. media, while WPP’s MEC works on the international media business.
  • Financial services brand Manulife, known as John Hancock in the U.S., launched a global creative review. Hill Holliday, the brand’s U.S. agency for the past 32 years, will not be participating in the process. Mindshare continues to handle global media efforts.
  • Indie film company Entertainment Studios kicked off a review to find a full-service agency of record (creative, planning and buying for traditional and digital media) to handle its $350 million annual budget, which includes the promotion of 17 movies per year.
  •  Lowe’s hired Publicis Groupe’s Starcom to handle its $300 million media account, replacing incumbent agency Omnicom’s OMD. The move follows the appointment of a new CMO.
  • Casual dining chain Denny’s selected Publicis Groupe’s Conill as its Hispanic advertising AOR following a review, replacing incumbent IPG’s Casanova//McCann. The agency will handle strategy, creative development, social media and digital communications targeting Hispanic
    audiences at both the local and national level, and partner with Denny’s agencies Erwin Penland and Blue 449.
  •  Annuity and life insurance provider Brighthouse Financial, an operating segment of MetLife, hired BBH N.Y. as its agency of record, following a review. The agency will
    handle TV, print, out of home, digital, social and CRM, and partner with other roster agencies like Red Peak.
  • Ahead of the upcoming creative review, Butler ShineStern & Partners resigned the BMW’s Mini businessafter 11.5 years with the brand, citing “aggressive costcuttingand procurement-mandated reviews,” as well asthe consolidation of the media business for both BMWand Mini under Interpublic Group’s UM, which led to a“reduction in staffing,” and has “all contributed to thefinancial challenges of managing the business profitably.”
  • Restaurant chain Applebee’s selected Grey as its new creative agency of record for North America following a review, replacing\ incumbent Barkley. The agency had been the incumbent for about a year, after replacing CP+B on the account.
  • All Laundry detergent hired DDB New York as its creative and strategic agency of record after a review, replacing incumbent Merkley+Partners, which will continue to serve as digital agency of record following this review.

Disclaimer: The reviews listed often capture larger review activity reported in the industry trade press, which we understand to be only a subset of total review activity. Specialist reviews (digital, social, PR, etc.) are rarely reported in the trade press. Also, due to the increasing number of project reviews (versus AOR/retainer reviews), many of those are not receiving media attention and therefore are not included here.
A summary of newsworthy client/agency relationship developments and relevant marketing or agency management trends from the past month. Download a print-friendly version here.