The pitch for HSBC's global account must rank as one of the most high profile and dramatic in recent years. WPP's win will see an as-yet unfinalised complement of 25 agencies working across the $600 million account.
There is a widespread feeling that other clients will copy HSBC's decision to appoint a group to handle all its advertising and marketing. But the number of clients that own a single global brand for which the group approach might work can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Add to the equation the potential for client conflict and the number shrinks further. American Express has already voiced concerns about sharing MindShare with HSBC.
Such concerns haven't dented Samsung's interest in the group pitch. Omnicom has pulled up in the race for the Korean electronics giant, leaving WPP and Publicis Groupe in a one-on-one sprint for an estimated $400 million in billings, but with potential revenues greater than those on HSBC, according to industry insiders.
And rich pickings still abound in accounts under review. This month's table boasts nearly $5 billion of new business worth $50 million or more, with FMCG accounts making up the lion's share of this very attractive purse, the majority of which will go to media agencies. And this doesn't just represent US profligacy: Unilever and Heinz have both announced pan-European media reviews, with a combined value estimated at almost $2 billion.
ACCOUNTS UNDER REVIEW
CLIENT/TASK BUDGET SHORTLIST INCUMBENT DECISION CON-
PROCTER & GAMBLE
Media planning, 2.5bn MediaCom, MediaCom, July None
North America Starcom Starcom
Media buying, 1.2bn Initiative, Initiative, December n/s
Europe MindShare, MindShare
Creative, global 400m WPP, Foote, Cone June None
Publicis & Belding
Media buying, 350m Initiative, Initiative, Was due None
global ZOG, ZOG, in May
(broadcast only) Universal Universal
Creative, US 150m McCann Foote, Cone June n/s
(broadcast only) Erickson & Belding
SUBARU OF AMERICA
Creative, global 140m TM TM July AAR
Advertising Advertising partners
Creative, US 100m Cline Davis Cline Davis Was due None
& Mann NY, & Mann NY in May
Media buying 70m Undisclosed Starcom July n/s
and planning, MediaVest
CLIENT/TASK BUDGET WINNER SHORTLIST INCUMBENT CON-
creative, 600m WPP IPG, Omnicom, Zenith None
global WPP Optimedia,
Media planning 425m MediaCom Universal MediaCom,
and buying, McCann, Universal n/s
five European MediaCom, McCann
Media, global 240m Group M Mediaedge:cia, Mediaedge:cia, n/s
(WPP) MindShare, MindShare
TOYS 'R' US
Creative, US 116m Young & Leo Burnett Leo Burnett None
Rubicam Chicago, Chicago
NY DDB Chicago,
FC&B New York
All budgets are estimates.