Accounts in Review: Mediahub Beats Bigger Shops to Win New Business

The media arm of Mullen Lowe is developing a reputation as a giant killer.

A month after beating shops like MEC and Zenith Media to claim the media business of Scotts Miracle-Gro, Mediahub has added Royal Caribbean as a client, fending off competition from Mindshare and Media Storm. Not bad for 150-person, three-office operation that has long been overshowed by its creative brother, Mullen.

Interestingly, the two wins are linked. When evaluating Mediahub as a finalist, Royal Caribbean asked for client references from the shop, including from Scotts, though that relationship had just begun. Why? Well, both marketers spend about $80 million a year in media and each wanted assurances that Mediahub could handle an account that size.

This week the shop also won a pitch for TXU Energy. Collectively, the new accounts represent an estimated $8 million in annual revenue for Mediahub, whose revenue totaled about $14 million last year, according to sources. And with six months left in the year, there's plenty of time to pitch more. 

Mediahub president John Moore attributed these 2015 successes to the development of the company's Scout consumer research offering and the addition of key players like communications planning director Erin Swenson Gorrall and group director Carrie Drinkwater. Drinkwater joined Mediahub in late 2013, and Swenson Gorrall, an Adweek Media All-Star, in early 2014.

And while most prospective clients are still more familiar with Mullen than Mediahub, the recent David v. Goliath wins are enabling Moore's unit to make a name for itself, eight years after the main agency rechristened its media department Mediahub.

"You always have to be humble and have tremendous humility in the business," Moore said. "But this has not happened by accident. This has been a long time in the making."

1

Unilever: Global Media

Media spend: $5 billion
Incumbents: Mindshare, Initiative, PHD
Contenders: Incumbents, possibly others
Decision: December

2

Mondelez: Global Media

Media spend: $1.5 billion
Incumbents: MediaVest, Carat, PHD, Madison
Contenders: MediaVest, Carat
Completion: October

3

21st Century Fox: Global Media

Media spend: $1 billion
Incumbents: Zenith Media, Vizeum
Contenders: Incumbents, others to be determined
Consultant: MediaLink
Completion: November

4

Sony: Global Media

Media spend: $900 million
Incumbents: UM, Carat, MediaCom
Contenders: Incumbents, undisclosed others
Completion: August

5

General Mills: Media

Media spend: $830 million
Incumbent: Zenith Media
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Consultant: Joanne Davis Consulting
Completion: October

6

L’Oréal: Media

Media spend: $780 million
Incumbents: UM (traditional), DigitasLBi (digital)
Contenders: Incumbents, undisclosed others
Completion: December

7

Coty: Global Media

Media spend: $600 million
Incumbents: OMD, Havas Media, Zenith Media
Contenders: Havas, Zenith, possibly others
Completion: June

8

Sears/Kmart: Creative, Media

Media spend: $560 million
Incumbents: Sears: mcgarrybowen, Havas Worldwide, Havas Media; Kmart: FCB, Havas Media
Contenders: Teams from Interpublic, Publicis Groupe and Havas led by FCB, DigitasLBi and Havas Worldwide, respectively
Completion: August

9

Citi: Global Media

Media spend: $450 million
Incumbents: MEC, Starcom, Razorfish
Contenders: Incumbents
Consultant: Roth Observatory International
Completion: July

10

Coca-Cola: Media

Media spend: $400 million
Incumbent: MediaVest
Contenders: Incumbent, UM, MediaCom, Ogilvy & Mather (connections planning only)
Completion: July

11

Visa: Global Media

Media spend: $250 million
Incumbent: OMD
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Completion: June

12

CVS: Media

Media spend: $85 million
Incumbent: Mindshare
Contenders: Incumbent, undisclosed others
Consultant: Pile + Co.
Completion: July

13

Royal Caribbean: Media

Media spend: $80 million
Incumbent: Mindshare
Contenders: Incumbent, Mediahub, Media Storm
Awarded to Mediahub

14

Humana: Creative

Media spend: $80 million
Incumbent: Rapp
Contenders: Incumbent, undisclosed others
Consultant: Select Resources International
Completion: June

15

New York Life: Creative

Media spend: $75 million
Incumbent: Havas Worldwide
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Consultant: Roth Observatory International
Completion: June