VSM On A Consolidation Streak

Two clients have consolidated more than $30 million in media duties at midsize buying service VSM Media. The agency’s success comes after an effort to win work from new clients, rather than contracting outsourced media from other agencies.
The most significant of the wins was from Barnes & Noble, which handed VSM $20-30 million in new planning and buying duties for its Web site. The agency already handled $10 million in planning and buying chores for the bookstore chain. The client wanted a single shop working on its entire media business, said VSM chairman and chief executive Tom Sassos.
Separately, VSM here bested DDB Needham here for Rƒmy Amerique’s Rƒmy Martin Cognac. (DDB in France won the creative side.) The entire account had previously been at The Martin Agency. The $4-5 million win means that media duties for all Rƒmy’s brands are now consolidated at the shop. VSM is “creative and they look at media as a combination of art and science. That’s not easy to find,” said client marketing director Hilary Peck.
The shop’s streak started late last year when it won a review for J.P. Morgan’s consolidated worldwide media business. Billings were undisclosed, but the firm spends $15 million in the U.S. alone. Previously, the client had used several agencies and wanted consistency in its buying, Sassos said.
The wins replace the $40 million Dunkin’ Donuts job VSM had contracted from Messner Vetere Berger Schmetterer McNamee/Euro RSCG, when that shop lost the account to Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos. VSM now claims $220 million in billings.