Bayer consolidates global $800m media account into MediaCom

WPP agency picks up key markets from rivals PHD and Dentsu.

Bayer: MediaCom awarded German market in the global review (photo: Getty Images)
Bayer: MediaCom awarded German market in the global review (photo: Getty Images)

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer has awarded MediaCom its $800 million global media account following a competitive review.

The WPP agency previously handled the majority of Bayer's media planning and buying across 65 markets, but has now added other parts of the world, including Germany, China and Russia, to its remit.

PHD previously held Germany and Russia, and Dentsu had China.

Campaign understands MediaCom, Dentsu and IPG's Initiative took part in the review while PHD did not take part.

The appointment provides an "integrated data-driven solution across Bayer’s global consumer healthcare brands and pharmaceuticals in the US".

The global account will be led by WPP’s Team Bayer lead and MediaCom global client president Costin Mihaila.

MediaCom will be charged with driving Bayer’s “modernised marketing strategy”, which involves using data and content integration to deliver business growth.  

The agency will support Bayer’s commitment to its "Media for good" initiative, which is focused on sustainability, inclusion and diversity, and brand communications suitability.

MediaCom said consolidating the business will deliver "enhanced best practice sharing, simpler ways of working, as well as consistency of approach, improved data and reporting".

“Data-driven marketing” is a “critical area”, the companies added in a joint statement, and MediaCom will use WPP’s Choreograph, a recently-created internal data unit, “to deliver the expertise and insight required for Bayer”.

MediaCom had held the global business in markets outside of the US since 2010. In 2011, it picked up Bayer’s media duties in the US, while a few years later PHD had won media in five markets, including Bayer’s home country, Germany.

In 2018, the company partnered with S4 Capital’s MightyHive to in-house its programmatic media buying, setting a goal to take most of its digital media buying in the region in-house by 2020. 

The handover of new markets to MediaCom will take place in January 2022.

Patricia Corsi, Bayer's chief marketing and digital officer, said the pharma was “delighted” to expand its remit with MediaCom.

She added: “The agency proved that it shares our vision and commitment to create a customised data-focused solution that will help us deliver on our 'Media for growth' ambition whilst also exceeding on its sustainability commitment and 'Media for good' vision. I am confident that together we will realise our ambition to be the best in our industry. 

“While congratulating MediaCom I would like to also take this opportunity to recognise and appreciate the partners involved in the review process for their professionalism, commitment and shared values with Bayer.”

MediaCom global chief executive Nick Lawson added: “We are now in a solid position to deliver a step-change in media thinking and activation that drives growth and celebrates the good that the company’s brands provide.

"Our new working relationship will enable us to see the bigger picture for Bayer and deliver smarter, more personalised and relevant messages across the business.”

MediaSense supported Bayer on the review, which launched in June 2021.

Bayer is one of many global brands, including Chanel, Ferrero, Stellantis and Unilever, to review their agency arrangements this year after a lull during the worst of last year's lockdowns.

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