WPP's bad week worsens as it loses HSBC
- Banking and financial services giant HSBC has moved its global media business from WPP's Mindshare to Omnicom's PHD, The Drum reported. The account is worth an estimated $400 million.
- PHD won the business after a review that began in January and came quickly after Leanne Cutts stepped in as HSBC's head of marketing. HSBC said in a statement to The Drum that the company made the switch because of PHD's "strong strategic skills and advanced digital transformation capabilities." Mindshare had held the account for more than 13 years.
- HSBC recently chose the Publicis-owned agency Saatchi & Saatchi to replace WPP's JWT for its global advertising business, however, JWT has retained some of the brand's creative duties.
Amid a string of high-profile advertising account reviews that have shaken up the agency space lately, WPP has felt the pinch particularly sharply, putting the future of the ad giant's business and organizational structure in question. Mindshare's loss of HSBC as a client comes in the same week that the agency is now fighting to keep its work with American Express, which it has handled for two decades and successfully defended before.
Ford in April also confirmed that it is putting part of its account up for review after decades working with WPP. In the same month, WPP's longtime chief executive Martin Sorrell — widely viewed as an ad industry thought leader — abruptly stepped down, leaving the firm with a leadership vacuum.
HSBC's reasoning behind the change points to how digital transformation continues to be key goal for marketers, but one that traditional agencies like WPP are often struggling to meet. The brand's statements around the news mirror those of Ford from April, which similarly noted that the automaker is trying to ramp up a focus on digital technology and data analytics to better target consumers.
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- The Drum HSBC’s $400m global media business moves to Omnicom's PHD in blow to WPP
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