Renault-Nissan has consolidated its $1 billion Europe, Middle East and Africa media account with Omnicom Group's OMD, which already handled the Nissan portion of the business, worth roughly 25 percent of the combined assignment.
The six -month process included both incumbents--the other being Aegis Group's Carat, which worked on Renault--and several other agencies. By brand, Renault spends an estimated $700-750 million on ads in the region, while Nissan spends $200-250 million, per sources.
Other contenders included WPP's Mediaedge:cia, Havas' MPG and Publicis Groupe's VivaKi. Those entities were eliminated prior to the final round, per sources.
In a statement, Jerry Buhlmann, CEO of Aegis Media, said: "We have today been notified of Renault-Nissan's plan to realign with Nissan's global agency of record. This is clearly disappointing. We have had a great partnership with Renault, and we are proud of what we have delivered for Renault over the past eight years."
Buhlmann continued: "We have enjoyed three years of unbroken success in international new business pitches, winning Adidas, GM, Johnson & Johnson, Mattel and 20th Century-Fox, as well as the retention of Philips and Disney. We have every confidence in our people and will continue to deliver a highly competitive product for our existing and future clients. We wish Renault the very best for its future as we go our separate ways."
OMD referred calls to the client, which could not be immediately reached.
Sources said the Renault business accounted for just less than 1 percent of Aegis' total global revenue. Two years ago, Aegis won the $750 million European General Motors account.
The review did not affect the U.S. market, where the $800 million Nissan account is handled by OMD. (The Renault brand has not been marketed in the U.S. for years.)
The alliance between the two car companies was formed in 1999, with Renault now owning 44.3 percent of Nissan, while Nissan owns a 15 percent stake in Renault. Carlos Ghosn is CEO of both companies, which jointly claim a 9 percent share of the worldwide auto market.
At the time it started, sources said "efficiencies" were driving the review to a great extent. "The whole concept of the Renault-Nissan alliance is to create synergies wherever they possibly can while maintaining the separation of the brands in the face of the public," said one source familiar with the situation. "It's inevitable that procurement would come under scrutiny and media is a very important part of that."