T-Mobile Is Reviewing Its $1.6 Billion US Media Account

Incumbents Publicis Groupe, Essence and Horizon have been invited to participate in the process

T-Mobile sign
The review follows the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile earlier this year. Getty Images
Headshot of Erik Oster

As 2020 draws to a close, T-Mobile has launched a review of its U.S. media buying and planning business, in a process managed by IDComms.

The review follows the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile earlier this year, after years of regulatory hurdles.

“We continually review agency relationships to ensure our innovative and disruptive storytelling reaches consumers in the right, relevant ways,” T-Mobile svp, brand and marketing communications Peter DeLuca said in a statement. “Now that Sprint is a part of T-Mobile we’re operating at a much bigger scale—and also taking on bigger and bolder goals. We look forward to ensuring we have the best partners to help us tell the story of this supercharged Un-carrier.”

IDComms declined to comment.

GroupM’s Essence, Horizon Media and Publicis Groupe are incumbents on the account and have been invited to participate in the review process. Publicis Groupe deferred to the client for comment. GroupM declined to comment. Horizon was not available for comment.

Publicis Groupe is defending in the review via a bespoke unit led by Publicis Seattle, according to a source with knowledge of the review. In 2018, T-Mobile brought a portion of its media buying and planning in-house with help from WPP’s Essence. Sprint appointed Horizon as its media agency of record in 2017, in a move characterized as a cost-cutting measure.

T-Mobile’s review is expected to conclude by the end of 2020, with the goal of consolidating the account with a single agency responsible for driving growth for T-Mobile, according to a source with direct knowledge of the review process.

T-Mobile spent over $1.6 billion on measured media last year and a little over $576 million during the first six months of 2019, down from over $791 million during that span in 2019, according to Kantar Media. Sprint spent nearly $545 million in 2019 and just over $174 million in the first six months of 2020, according to Kantar Media.


@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.
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