GroupM, Omnicom battle for Amazon’s global media account

By Ibidunni Banjoko
GroupM and Omnicom are locked in a fierce competition to secure Amazon’s extensive media buying and planning account, with incumbent IPG Mediabrands no longer in the running, according to sources within the industry speaking to B&T.
Since 2013, IPG’s media agency Initiative has managed Amazon’s account, defending it successfully in 2017 with its bespoke agency Rufus against Publicis Media. However, the landscape is shifting as the account, valued at over $US2.5 billion ($AU3.75 billion), becomes the most sought-after media planning and buying contract in the advertising world.
The review of the account, first reported by Marketing Brew in September last year, generated significant buzz. Olivier Gaulthier, CEO of media account spend tracking firm COMvergence, dubbed it the “GLOBAL MEDIA PITCH OF THE DECADE!”
Despite being out of the main race, Rufus, the bespoke agency for Amazon, will still participate in pitching for some local markets, including Australia.
GroupM’s bid is being spearheaded by Toby Jenner, global president of GroupM clients and global CEO of Wavemaker. GroupM’s strategy leverages WPP Open’s software, already utilized for major clients like Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, and Nestlé. Their approach, modeled after the OpenMind strategy for Nestlé, integrates talent from across the holding company with process automation, long-term market mix modeling, and audience-specific creative solutions.
Omnicom, on the other hand, is banking on its $US835 million ($AU1.26 billion) acquisition of digital commerce business Flywheel to enhance its pitch. Flywheel’s Commerce Cloud platform manages substantial product sales and advertising spends across digital marketplaces, including Amazon. Omnicom and Amazon recently partnered to enable Omnicom’s planning and investment teams to access Amazon’s proprietary data, tying linear and CTV investments directly to Amazon purchases. This partnership has already undergone two beta tests, enhancing Omnicom’s position.
The final round of pitches in Australia is scheduled for 7 July, as GroupM and Omnicom vie for one of the most lucrative and influential accounts in the advertising industry.


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