Hearts & Science is the youngest addition to the global media investment galaxy, created by Omnicom in 2016 as the new home for the recently captured Procter & Gamble North America account. It has been built more or less from scratch rather than through acquisition, though much of what it does is based upon the work of existing analytics and programmatic unit Annalect, already a unit of Omnicom Media Group. The new agency combines traditional media planning and buying disciplines with sophisticated analytics offering real-time insights into audience response, backed up with extensive content creation services. There is a particular emphasis, inevitably, on digital media. Though the P&G win was its original motivation, Omnicom said from the outset that H&S would seek additional clients. The first such was another mammoth gain, the US AT&T account, poached from MEC. Together they are the two biggest media accounts in the US. Annalect founder and chief Scott Hagedorn moved over to become the first CEO of Hearts & Science, but was succeeded in 2019 by another Annalect veteran, Erin Matts, and then in 2021 by Ralph Pardo. (Hagedorn now heads Omnicom Media Group in North America). COMvergence estimated global billings of $3.3bn for 2020. Though the bulk of its work is still in North America, the agency is gradually rolling out a global network to support P&G in other countries. In the UK, media shop Rocket, previously a satellite of Omnicom's PHD network, became the local outpost of Hearts & Science. As of early 2021 there were no fewer than 7 offices in the US, as well as 20 more in 16 other countries.
Capsule checked 24th March 2021
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Adbrands Daily Update 17th Jan 2019: Precise details have not been disclosed, but P&G is reported to have transferred a larger share of its North American media budget from Hearts & Science to Carat, and another sizeable chunk of responsibility to its inhouse team. The latter is understood to have taken control of the bulk of media for the company's oral care products. A separate inhouse team already manages much of the media for fabric care under the internal name of Woven.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th May 2018: P&G has chosen to carve up its various product segments into different silos, each of which is served by a slightly different team. Media for most of P&G's North American business was consolidated last year into Omnicom's newly formed Hearts & Science agency, though Carat retained a few brands. Now, all of P&G haircare - Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences - is moving to Carat, a combined gain for that network of around $245m in billings. Hearts & Science retains most other brands.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Apr 2018: Not for the first time, Procter & Gamble is changing the nature of traditional marketing. Its CMO Marc Pritchard - who has in recent months been arguably the industry's most vocal evangelist for new marketing models - announced the launch of a new unit that will combine personnel from three of the agency groups P&G works with to represent its laundry portfolio in North America. The as yet unnamed agency - working title People First - will combine staff from Publicis-owned Saatchi & Saatchi, WPP's Grey and Omnicom's Hearts & Science and Marina Maher Communications. Saatchi New York's CEO Andrea Vasquez will lead the new business in addition to her existing role, and the new entity will be based out of P&G's New York office, with additional representation at its Cincinnati HQ. This unprecedented strategy was tested successfully with P&G's widely acclaimed Tide campaign for this year's Super Bowl, overseen by a similar cross-industry team. It will now take charge of creative, digital, media and PR for Tide, Gain, Lenor and other brands with combined spend of over $500m. Someone somewhere must have started taking bets on whether or not this experiment will work. No one has tried blending personnel from three rival groups before. The last client to try anything similar was GM. Its Commonwealth agency for Chevrolet started life in 2012 as a partnership between Interpublic's McCann and Omnicom's Goodby Silverstein. That lasted a year before McCann took full control of the project. Separately, P&G has asked Hearts & Science to repitch media for its haircare portfolio, just two years after winning the business, in a closed content with roster rival Carat.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Mar 2018: Another week, another loss for struggling Wavemaker. Pharma group Amgen is to transfer its $350m US media account to Omnicom's Hearts & Science agency. The business was previously split between Wavemaker's predecessor MEC and Omnicom's specialist healthcare media unit SSCG, which will retain its share of B2B duties. Amgen's drugs include Enbrel, Neulasta and Neupogen.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2017: Procter & Gamble split media in Japan between a new outpost of Omnicom's Hearts & Science network, that will itself be a JV with local agency Hakuhodo, and the Tokyo office of Carat. That decision largely mirrors the current set-up in the US. The business moves from Carat's ultimate parent Dentsu.
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