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Ikea Begins a Review of Its Global Media Business

After Mediapalooza 2015, activity heats up again

MEC, a unit of WPP's GroupM, handles Ikea media in the U.S. Photo: Ikea

Has Mediapalooza 2016 arrived?

Last year, a series of reviews, dubbed "Mediapalooza," rocked the agency world. Major players such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Mondelez, L'Oréal and Johnson & Johnson, among others, placed billions of media dollars in play. 

While it's too soon to tell if the industry will see similar action this year, some signs are pointing in that direction. In recent weeks, big marketers such as Walmart, E*Trade and Delta Air Lines either launched reviews or made agency changes.

Now, Ikea has joined the fray, putting its global media account in play.

In confirming the process has begun, a rep at the Swedish furniture retailer gave this statement to Adweek: "Ikea is currently in the process of reviewing its media agency suppliers globally. This is a part of our commitment to the ongoing improvement of our media and marketing governance. Ikea periodically evaluates all marketing service suppliers to ensure we maintain the best working relationships with the best agency partners." 

Consultancy ID Comms is assisting with the process.

Worldwide spending could not immediately be determined, but some reports place annual spending in excess of $400 million. 

U.S. spending alone was approximately $100 million in 2009, when MEC, a unit of WPP's GroupM, successfully defended its domestic planning and buying assignment. 

At that time, Dentsu Aegis Network's Vizeum added U.K. chores from WPP's Mediacom.

Ikea works with various agency resources for planning and buying in other global geographies.

The dust had barely settled from Mediapalooza 2015 before activity began heating up again this year. In February, E*Trade and Delta—which spend $80 million and $50 million, respectively, on U.S. ads annually—each launched media reviews. A dedicated WPP team handles E*Trade, while DigitasLBi, part of Publicis Groupe, works on Delta.

Meanwhile, Walmart unexpectedly pulled its North American media business, worth more than $900 million, from Publicis' MediaVest. It remains unclear if Walmart will call a review or choose a new partner without a formal competition. 

In addition, Abbott Laboratories, which spends $150 million annually on ads in the U.S. and works with GroupM's Mindshare, launched a review late last year.

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