Insurance Giant AXA Sends Majority of $161 Million Global Media Business to WPP

Publicis Groupe retained the creative account and picked up media duties in four markets

The letters AXA in an office
The U.K. and Germany appear to be among the largest markets for AXA. AXA
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International insurance giant AXA has sent the majority of its global media account to WPP, while Publicis Groupe retained the global creative account as well as adding strategy and media responsibilities in four markets.

The assignments follow a 10-month review process that also included incumbent Havas, as well as Dentsu Aegis Network.

WPP will be responsible for AXA’s media account in nearly 30 markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia and Latin America, with Wavemaker handling the account in all markets except France, where it will be handled by GroupM.

In a statement, WPP CEO Mark Read called AXA a “great brand” and said the holding company was “very proud to have been given such an extensive brief to support its development through the media, technology and data expertise of Wavemaker and GroupM.”

“To have won their business and be their chosen partner as they transform into a services company says everything about the breadth and depth of Wavemaker’s ability to deliver transformative solutions,” said Toby Jenner, who succeeded Tim Castree as global CEO of Wavemaker in July after Castree stepped into a North America CEO role for GroupM (a role in which he Castree lasted less than a year).

In addition to defending the creative account, Publicis Groupe picked up strategy and media responsibilities in the U.K., Italy, Germany and Hong Kong. In these regions, the company will set up integrated teams to manage creative, media and data.

The U.K. and Germany appear to be among the largest markets for AXA.

Data consultancy COMvergence estimated AXA’s global annual spending at $161 million, noting that the U.K., Japan, Germany and France are its largest markets.

Publicis Groupe France president Agathe Bousquet called it “a great source of pride to be able to work for a brand like AXA,” adding that it was “a real opportunity for Publicis to spearhead a new integrated approach in some of their key countries.”

Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun characterized the “renewed trust” of AXA Group as “another demonstration of the relevance of our integrated model of creation, media and data” on the back of the holding company winning assignments for LVMH, Mondelez, Novartis and Disney.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.