MasterCard has further solidified its relationship with McCann Worldgroup by consolidating the digital and social media portions of its marketing business with the dedicated IPG shop McCann XBC.
A client spokesperson writes, “MasterCard regularly reviews and assesses industry resources, as part of responsible vendor and agency management,” adding, “At this time, we can confirm that our digital and social marketing activities in the U.S. have been consolidated under the integrated McCann XBC team.”
This means that the client will no longer work with R/GA or VaynerMedia, which previously handled its digital and social work, respectively. The client did not address whether it held a formal review, and our sources did not mention one. McCann representatives deferred to the client.
The larger McCann organization launched XBC or “ExtraBoldCondensed” in 2012 to collaborate with other IPG agencies on the MasterCard business. At the time of the launch, the McCann organization brought former chief creative officer Joyce King Thomas back to serve as president, and she was later promoted to chairman in July 2014 as Devika Bulchandani succeeded her in that role. Bulchandani, who was formerly EVP of global strategy at McCann, also holds the title of managing director of its New York office.
Tipsters tell us that the agency/client relationship between Bulchandani, Joyce and MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar helped facilitate this round of consolidation. In recent months, Rajamannar has joined many other clients in predicting that his company’s investment in digital marketing would soon “significantly outpace” its traditional spend, making the win all the more significant for the McCann network.
R/GA first began working with MasterCard back in 2009, when it replaced MRM//McCann in the U.S. after a review. Vayner has handled social for several years, recently winning a Shorty Award for its work on the “Priceless Reunions” project.
MasterCard’s last major agency shift came in February 2014, when it moved its then-$250 million global media account from UM to Carat.
Spending totals for the digital and social portions of the business are not available at this time.