WPP drawn into US Department of Justice investigation

WPP has confirmed that three of its subsidiaries have been subpoenaed by the US Department of Justice, as part of the latter's investigation into production practices.

WPP: chief executive Martin Sorrell
WPP: chief executive Martin Sorrell

In a statement, WPP said it was "fully co-operating with enquiries".

WPP, whose advertising networks include Y&R, Ogilvy & Mather and Grey, is the fourth holding company to be approached by the DoJ.

Interpublic Group was the first to issue a statement, saying the DoJ had been in touch with one of its US domestic agencies.

On Friday Omnicom confirmed two of its agencies had been subpoenaed. Publicis issued a follow-up statement hours later saying three of its agencies were also involved.

In early December The Wall Street Journal was first to report the DoJ was investigating agencies over alleged pressure on smaller production houses, in violation of US antitrust laws.

The investigation follows independent production companies alleging they were pressured to boost their prices to make them appear less attractive to advertisers, meaning ad agencies won contracts to create spots in-house instead. Production companies were allegedly promised favourable treatment in the future in return.

WPP's full statement: "WPP confirms that, similarly to Interpublic, Omnicom and Publicis, three of its subsidiaries have received subpoenas from the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division concerning the division’s ongoing investigation of video production and post-production practices in the advertising industry.

"WPP and its subsidiaries are fully cooperating with the enquiries."

Topics

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Why Cosabella replaced its agency with AI and will never go back to humans
Shares0
Share

1 Why Cosabella replaced its agency with AI and will never go back to humans

In October, lingerie retailer Cosabella replaced its digital agency with an AI platform named "Albert". Since then it has more than tripled its ROI and increased its customer base by 30%.

Just published

More