- Philip Lader, chairman for WPP, the world's largest advertising holding company, spoke out at this week's shareholder meeting in London about the recent wave of big marketers reviewing agency relationships.
- He pointed out that the media account reviews -- totaling in approximately $20 billion -- were driven primarily by clients' desire to “optimize their media spending in an increasingly digital media environment.”
- Lader also pointed out that uncertainty in 2015 could be encouraging the reviews saying that clients are “unwilling to take further risks” due to geopolitical uncertainty, low inflation, short-term focused activist investors and increased corporate governance scrutiny.
In what has been dubbed "Mediapalooza," marketers are striking out to see if they can improve their media business and agency relationships. As Lader points out the uncertainty in 2015, the movement shouldn't come as too much a surprise. Still, the multitude of reviews will create a highly competitive environment that might very well end up going to the lowest bidder. Among the big marketers currently reviewing their accounts are Procter & Gamble, Mondelez, Unilever and General Mills.
"Even in the best of times, successful companies are careful in their allocation of promotional funds. But when times get tougher, carefulness tends to be replaced by caution," Lader said.