As Clients Lose Confidence in Holding-Company Media Shops, Independent Agencies Win Big Brands

Sprint, Honda and others have moved away from the so-called 'Big 6'

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This year has been a decidedly mixed bag for the biggest names in advertising, especially on the U.S. media side of the agency equation.

That’s the primary conclusion of a “new business barometer” report released this week by COMvergence, a Paris-based independent research firm focusing on agency account moves, mergers and acquisitions as well as changes in talent and leadership.

According to Olivier Gauthier, founder and principal at COMvergence, the most notable trend so far this year has concerned large and midsize brands moving their media business from agencies owned by the so-called “Big Six” holding companies—WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Havas, IPG and Dentsu—to smaller independent operations.

“This may be because of a drop in confidence in the major holding groups,” said Gauthier.

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