Gideon Spanier
Sep 17, 2019

Carat captures Vodafone global media account

Wavemaker to continue to handle media in markets like India and Netherlands

A recent global Vodafone campaign
A recent global Vodafone campaign

Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat has won Vodafone’s global media planning and buying account after beating the incumbent, WPP’s Group M, in a shoot-out.

Carat will take control of the British telecoms giant’s business in about 15 markets, including the UK and Germany.

Industry observers have watched the review closely because Vodafone took digital biddable media buying in-house last year and it has significantly cut the scope of its external media agency partner since then.

Carat and Dentsu Aegis Network will largely handle offline media buying, but will also play a strategic role in advising on in-sourcing digital media.

The media account has been estimated to be worth close to £400m annually – considerably less than its estimated £600m value when WPP’s MEC, now known as Wavemaker, beat Carat to the business in 2014.

Vodafone has continued to increase the role of its in-house team this year and it is thought that the value of the media buying account will drop further.

The company's original decision to in-source biddable media in June 2018 was a blow to Wavemaker and it is understood that Group M, the media buying division for all of WPP’s media agencies, led the defence of this review.

Omnicom and Publicis Groupe also took part in the process but were eliminated at an earlier stage.

Vodafone will still have a close relationship with WPP, since the holding group manages marketing services, including creative and PR.

Wavemaker will also continue to handle media in some markets where Vodafone operates joint ventures, such as India and the Netherlands, where WPP won Vodafone Ziggo’s account earlier this year.

Nikos Vlachopoulos, global marketing and brand director at Vodafone, oversaw the review after Sara Martins de Oliveira departed as global director of brand and media during the summer.

Oliveira, who led the in-sourcing initiative, told Campaign in March that she expects the company to in-source more media over time.

"Within five years, I think most of media will be biddable," she said at the time. "It means there is no need for middle people. You can do it yourself if you’re data-rich."

Vodafone, which appointed a new global chief executive, Nick Read, in October 2018, is under financial pressure to improve growth and cut costs.

The company recently appointed Anomaly, a part of The Stagwell Group-controlled MDC Partners, as its strategic and creative agency partner for the brand globally. WPP’s Santo previously worked on that brief.

Vodafone and Carat declined to comment immediately.

(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.co.uk)

Source:
Campaign India

Follow us

Top news, insights and analysis every weekday

Sign up for Campaign Bulletins

Related Articles

Just Published

2 days ago

Goafest 2024 set to host creativity experts while ...

The 17th edition of the festival will host over 50 speakers and entertainers across 20 sessions in addition to more than 15 masterclasses.

2 days ago

Havas Worldwide retains Durex creative duties

As reported earlier by Campaign India, the pitch had several big-ticket agencies vying for the plum account alongside the incumbent.

2 days ago

Clear Premium Water’s commercials champion ...

The series highlights the bottled water brand’s efforts to encourage conscientious consumption and environmentally sustainable practices, while shedding light on the issue of counterfeit products.

3 days ago

India bags 8 pencils and 10 shortlists at D&AD 2024

BBDO India earns one of four White Pencils given out this year for making a difference in the industry.