- Mondelez, the packaged food company that owns brands like Cadbury and Nabsico, has brought WPP's GroupM onto the list of agencies that it works with following a media review launched in March, according to Adweek. The publication, in a separate report, learned from sources familiar with the matter that petcare and confectionary giant Mars has also selected GroupM for its consolidated media planning and buying functions after a review launched earlier this year
- Mondelez is additionally assigning the bulk of its work in the Asia, Middle East and Africa and MEU regions to WPP's Wavemaker and Mindshare agencies. Publicis Groupe's Spark Foundry retained most of its existing Mondelez business in the Middle East and Latin America, and also added work in China and Southeast Asia. Dentsu Aegis' Carat shop previously held all of Mondelez' account in Europe, but lost most of it to GroupM and will not work on the account in Asia.
- Mondelez is one of the top advertisers by media spend in the world, spending between $1 billion and $1.5 billion on paid media across its brands, according to R3 estimates cited by Adweek. MediaCom is retaining its role as Mondelez' global media agency of record. Mars, for its part, spent about $745 million on paid media in the U.S. in 2017, according to Kantar Media data.
WPP nabbing two big account wins with high-spending marketers like Mondelez and Mars comes as a bright spot following what has otherwise been a rough few months for the company. The news underpins how the ad holding group, the largest in the world, is remaining competitive despite an overall sluggish landscape for agency growth and pressures impacting its business, specifically.
Mondelez and Mars working more closely with WPP could help offset some of the uncertainty the company is facing with other major brand clients. Ford, which has worked with WPP for decades and is estimated to have generated more than $500 million in annual revenue for the agency, put large parts of its account up for review in April. In May, American Express mirrored those moves by putting its global media business up for review after 20 years with WPP's Mindshare. Later in May, Mindshare also lost HSBC's estimated $400 global million media account to Omnicom.
Both Mondelez and Mars cited factors like digital transformation, innovation and data insights as the reason for the their large-scale reviews and selection of WPP agencies, according to Adweek. Technology has been a main point of contention with brands and their agency partners. Eighty-four percent of surveyed multinational brands and 71% of agencies think that agencies are struggling with marketing technology, per a recent report from the World Federation of Advertisers and The Observatory International.
Mars and Mondelez moving parts of their business to WPP agencies could also help quell critics who have speculated about the future of WPP without Martin Sorrell, the founder and former CEO of the company who resigned in April. Since leaving WPP, Sorrell has launched a shell company called S4 Capital, which recently outbid WPP to acquire digital creative agency MediaMonks this summer.