Mediacom

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Mediacom was originally the media planning and buying network of Grey Global Group, but is now a division within WPP's GroupM umbrella. It was the #4 media specialist worldwide in 2020 with billings of $15.0bn, according to COMvergence. It is one of the widest-ranging global media shops, with 125 offices in 100 countries, although it is strongest in just a few major territories, especially German-speaking countries in Europe and the UK, where it has long dominated the local market. UK billings broke the £1bn level for the first time in 2008 (according to Nielsen estimates) and have remained at or above that level every year since 2010, making it the only local media agency ever to achieve that feat. UK billings topped £1.5bn in 2019 (according to Nielsen estimates in Campaign), a new record for any local media agency, and £400m above nearest challenger OMD. That strength makes it the biggest network by billings overall across the EMEA region, and it ranks among the Top Four networks across Asia Pacific. The US office suffered uneven performance for several years in the 2000s but has stabilised more recently with several key wins, though it still sits well outside the local Top Ten. In Latin America, Mediacom has only a comparatively low-key presence, with offices in only a few countries across the region, and no direct presence in Brazil. Like other media networks, Mediacom has broadened its offering considerably in recent years, establishing satellite units specialising in sports and entertainment sponsorship and content development. It is one of four global media networks now under WPP's control, operating separately from Mindshare and Wavemaker, although it benefits from the group's pooled buying power. Its size has arguably allowed Mediacom to devote more attention to imaginative or innovative media planning, and it has tended to outperform WPP's two other major media networks in terms of awards. It has been Global Agency Network of the Year in the M&M Global Awards nine times in eleven years, including five years in a row since 2015. Stephen Allen, an agency lifer who spent 38 years at Mediacom and its predecessor The Media Business, stepped down as CEO in 2020. He was succeeded by long-time lieutenant Nick Lawson, another lifer with three decades at the agency under his belt.

Capsule checked 5th February 2021

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Adbrands Daily Update 26th Apr 2021: Mediacom formally launched a global creative division that will work closely in partnership with its media planning and buying operations. The network already has creative operations in selected markets, notably the US and Australia, and has long managed a content development operation under the banner of Beyond Advertising. However the new structure for Mediacom Creative Systems gives the business its first global footprint. The network is led by former Mother co-founder Stef Calcraft, now Mediacom's global CEO creative transformation. The new division offers a suite of "data-driven creative products, including Addressable Creative, which will dramatically improve media performance by integrating addressable creative with addressable media, and Creative Analytics. This new tool uses AI to understand which ads work and which don't and will take best practice learnings from those that do to make client communications plans work better."

Adbrands Daily Update 11th May 2020: Stephen Allen, a fixture of London's media agency market for four decades and global CEO of Mediacom since 2008, is to step down in July. He will be succeeded by long-time lieutentant Nick Lawson, currently COO. "My decision to step down has been the most difficult one I have taken during my 38-year career at Mediacom," he said, "but I decided the time has come to take all I've learned in building and growing a truly global network and I'm excited to apply it to a new challenge." He gave no clues as to what that new challenge might be. "Whilst I am incredibly sad to be leaving my 'family', I couldn't be happier to hand the reins over to Nick, who is a world-class leader, knowing that the MediaCom I will always love is in very safe hands."

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Jun 2018: Cannes Lions 2018: And so Cannes Lions 2018 draws to a close. The Grand Prix in Media was awarded - for a change - to an actual media agency, a bizarrely unusual occurrence at Cannes. (It's usually a creative agency that walks away with the top prize in this category). Mediacom took Grand Prix under the heading of excellence in media planning for the 'Food Love Stories' campaign for UK supermarket giant Tesco. This involved a massive data-driven planning exercise across paid media and instore channels that coordinated consumer-driven menu suggestions with instore product promotion, and led to a huge uplift in sales. It has been Tesco's most successful product promotion for more than five years.

Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jan 2018: WPP appointed Mediacom chair Karen Blackett as the group's first ever country manager for the UK, overseeing all its local agencies. That makes the widely respected Blackett arguably the single most powerful individual in the UK industry. WPP is the country's dominant marketing group with local revenues of around £2bn. In a memo to all staff, Sir Martin Sorrell said "Karen will focus on our core strategic priority of horizontality: ensuring our companies work together effectively and present a seamlessly integrated and simplified offer to clients. She will also support efforts to attract and retain the best and most diverse talent, generate cross-group business opportunities and identify potential acquisitions and investments."

Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd November 2017: PSA Groupe has consolidated media for its newly acquired Opel and Vauxhall car businesses with Mediacom, which won the Peugeot and Citroen accounts across Europe earlier this year. Carat had handled Opel and Vauxhall for more than a decade. Billings are estimated at around €300m.

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