Mediacom was originally the media planning and buying network of Grey Global Group, but is now a division within WPP's GroupM umbrella. Mediacom was the #4 media specialist worldwide in 2019 with billings of $14.6bn, 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 dominates the local market. UK billings broke the £1bn level for the first time in 2008 (according to Nielsen estimates) and have remained at that level every year since 2010, making it the only local media agency ever to achieve that feat. 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, and is succeeded by long-time lieutenant Nick Lawson.
Capsule checked 23rd September 2019
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Historical profile information for Mediacom
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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Nov 2017: As had previously been anticipated, Deutsche Telekom's massive pan-European media budget moves from long-time incumbent Mediacom. A significant part of the business transfers to sister agency Mindshare, but with less responsibility than was previously enjoyed by Mediacom. According to Telekom's VP, marketing communications Christian Hahn, "The media business has changed completely. We want to be masters of this development and steer the media strategy much more independently. We can not completely delegate that to an agency." As a result, Mindshare has been confirmed only as the agency for traditional planning and buying. Media strategy will now be handled inhouse at Telekom. Three other contracts - for programmatic buying, media analytics and search marketing - are also up for grabs but the results will not be announced until early next year.
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