Accounts in Review: Creative Searches Pick Up, a Bit

Media reviews continue to dominate the adverting landscape, but some sizeable creative searches are bubbling up now, too.

Olive Garden, a mainstay at Grey since 1996, just started a search that's expected to extend into the fall. The restaurant chain spent about $155 million in media last year, according to Kantar Media.

Word of Olive Garden's move came as a review for DraftKings.com wound down. Five agencies are pitching that account, with a decision expected in a few weeks. Media spending is expected to grow into the hundreds of millions after the daily fantasy-sports site locking up category-exclusive rights to advertise on ESPN.

Priceline.com, meanwhile, is visiting seven agencies before selecting a handful of finalists. It spends nearly $45 million annually, according to Kantar.

1

Unilever: Global Media

Media spend: $5 billion
Incumbents: Mindshare, Initiative, PHD
Contenders: Incumbents, possibly others
Decision: December

2

Mondelez: Global Media

Media spend: $1.5 billion
Incumbents: MediaVest, Carat, PHD, Madison
Contenders: MediaVest, Carat
Completion: October

3

21st Century Fox: Global Media

Media spend: $1 billion
Incumbents: Zenith Media, Vizeum
Contenders: Incumbents, others to be determined
Consultant: MediaLink
Completion: November

4

Sony: Global Media

Media spend: $900 million
Incumbents: UM, Carat, MediaCom
Contenders: Incumbents, undisclosed others
Completion: August

5

General Mills: Media

Media spend: $830 million
Incumbent: Zenith Media
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Consultant: Joanne Davis Consulting
Completion: October

6

L’Oréal: Media

Media spend: $780 million
Incumbents: UM (traditional), DigitasLBi (digital)
Contenders: Incumbents, undisclosed others
Completion: December

7

Sears/Kmart: Creative, Media

Media spend: $560 million
Incumbents: Sears: mcgarrybowen, Havas Worldwide, Havas Media; Kmart: FCB, Havas Media
Contenders: Teams from Interpublic, Publicis Groupe and Havas led by FCB, DigitasLBi and Havas Worldwide, respectively
Completion: August

8

Citi: Global Media

Media spend: $450 million
Incumbents: MEC, Starcom, Razorfish
Contenders: Incumbents
Consultant: Roth Observatory International
Completion: July

9

Coca-Cola: Media

Media spend: $400 million
Incumbent: MediaVest
Contenders: Incumbent, UM, MediaCom, Ogilvy & Mather (connections planning only)
Completion: July

10

Visa: Global Media

Media spend: $250 million
Incumbent: OMD
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Completion: June

11

Coke Classic: Global Creative

Media spend: $250 million
Incumbent: Wieden + Kennedy
Contenders: Ogilvy & Mather, Sra Rushmore, Santo
Selection: September

12

DraftKings.com: Creative

Media spend: $200 million
Incumbent: Havas Edge
Contenders: BBDO, Arnold, The Martin Agency, Wieden + Kennedy, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
Completion: August

13

Olive Garden: Creative

Media spend: $155 million
Incumbent: Grey
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Consultant: Pile + Co.
Completion: September

14

CVS: Media

Media spend: $85 million
Incumbent: Mindshare
Contenders: Incumbent, undisclosed others
Consultant: Pile + Co.
Completion: July

15

Humana: Creative

Media spend: $80 million
Incumbent: Rapp
Contenders: Incumbent, undisclosed others
Consultant: Select Resources International
Completion: June

16

New York Life: Creative

Media spend: $75 million
Incumbent: Havas Worldwide
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Consultant: Roth Observatory International
Completion: June

17

Priceline: Creative

Media spend: $45 million
Incumbent: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
Contenders: Venables, Bell + Partners, BBDO, Grey, Droga5, The Martin Agency, Arnold, Leo Burnett
Consultant: Ark Advisors
Completion: August