NEWS: Lowes reveals media consolidation rising

The trend for media consolidation is speeding up as top clients slash the number of media buying points they use, according to in-house monitoring by Lowe Howard-Spink’s media department.

The trend for media consolidation is speeding up as top clients slash

the number of media buying points they use, according to in-house

monitoring by Lowe Howard-Spink’s media department.



Using Register-MEAL data, Lowes found that clients are employing fewer

media buyers than ever before. The findings revealed that the top 20

advertisers used an average of 2.8 buying points in 1990, but in 1994

that number had dropped to just 1.25.



Among the results for individual advertisers, Lowes found that BT has

slashed its agency roster from seven to two in four years, Nestle has

gone from five to one and Procter and Gamble’s Health and Beauty arm has

dropped five buying points, now making use of just one agency.



Mike Smallwood, media director at Lowes, said: ‘To get access to the top

table you need to be as large a player as possible. If you look at

almost any major industry, you see consolidation - airlines, ferries,

retailers, banking. Larger industries have seen they can improve

efficiencies in most respects.



‘The first phase of media consolidation was about volume savings. Now

it’s about how you exploit that consolidation and this will lead to more

emphasis on research studies and systems.’



John Blakemore, head of advertising at SmithKline Beecham, which is

itself in the middle of a UK consolidation process, said: ‘The trend

will continue, although I’m not sure how much more there can be. The

interesting thing for me is that there is still a very significant

number of media planners and buyers and that’s where we’re likely to see

more consolidation.’



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