University of Phoenix Sends Offline Media Duties to Sandy Hook Agency Mediassociates

By Erik Oster 

Online for-profit higher education giant University of Phoenix has sent the offline portion of its media buying and planning account to an independent media agency located right here in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. (Now with electricity!)

Mediassociates will be responsible for national and local offline media buying for University of Phoenix, including DRTV, OTT, and streaming audio channels. OMD was incumbent on the account and retains digital media buying and planning. The Omnicom Media Group agency declined to comment.

Mediassociates also counts University of Southern New Hampshire amongst its client roster and helped USNH grow its online program to become the “largest and fastest growing not-for-profit online university in the U.S.,” according to Mediassociates’ website. Its experience in the space appears to have been a factor in the decision.


“The world of television and video is changing more than ever,” University of Phoenix CMO Steve Gross said in a statement. “Mediassociates has a deep understanding of these trends, and that combined with their years of experience in higher education, make them an ideal partner for the University of Phoenix.”

It’s unclear if the appointment followed a review. University of Phoenix spent nearly $143 million across all measured media channels last year and over $57 million in the first five months of 2020, down from nearly $70 million over that span last year, according to Kantar Media. Of that, University of Phoenix spent around $72 million on offline spending last year and nearly $35 million in the first five months of 2020, down from over $38 million over that span last year, according to Kantar Media.

“University of Phoenix is a leader in online higher education and is a great brand for our agency,” Mediassociates president Jeff Larson, said in a statement. “As an independent agency, winning this account is a huge endorsement of our nimble, data-driven approach. It highlights our marketplace advantage of integrated buying teams, no organizational silos, and a channel-agnostic approach that allows us to focus on what’s best for our clients. By removing the friction inherent in large agency relationships, we are able to unlock new opportunities for marketing performance and deliver greater impact.”

For Mediassociates, the appointment follows a series of account wins in recent months, including Mount Sinai Health System, Verisign and Yale New Haven Health System.