MediaCom retains Universal as Comcast splits £900m account

MediaCom has retained Universal Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures' joint £26m UK media planning and buying account as part of a £900m global review that boosts GroupM's billings.

Larry Crowne: latest release from Universal Pictures, Vendome Pictures and Playtone
Larry Crowne: latest release from Universal Pictures, Vendome Pictures and Playtone

The review was called in May in an attempt by US cable company Comcast, which had recently acquired a controlling stake in Universal's parent company NBC-Universal, to consolidate its global media arrangements.

However, the result has not been total consolidation, perhaps due to a number of conflicts for agencies in the various categories the client operates in.

The business has been split between Publicis Groupe agencies and WPP agencies.

Omnicom agency OMD and independent Horizon have lost their respective accounts for Universal in the US and NBC in the US.

Publicis Groupe agencies MediaVest and Starcom have retained the Comcast cable business and added theme parks.

GroupM's Maxus has picked up the US and Canada business for the NBC-Universal portion, comprising the NBC broadcast and cable networks business and the $500m Universal Studios account.

GroupM has retained the account in all countries outside the US, where only the Universal part of the business is active, adding Korea, Singapore and Japan.

In most countries the account is with MediaCom though Mindshare holds it in a small number of countries including Italy and Germany.

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