The UK Government’s media-buying account was worth more than the next two largest media account moves in 2021 combined, according to the UK edition of COMvergence’s Media Agency New Business Barometer report.
The report shows £354m was spent through Crown Commercial Service’s media-buying framework, which enables government departments and wider public sector organisations to buy advertising and marketing services. Omnicom’s MG OMD retained the account in the biggest UK media pitch of the year.
This was significantly more than consumer brands Unilever (£170m, retained by WPP’s Mindshare) and Comparethemarket.com (£140m, won by Omnicom’s OMD UK), which were the next biggest pitches of the year.
Figure from COMvergence’s New Business Barometer FY 2021
The major ad spend occurred the UK was seeking to emerge from the pandemic, with major public health and vaccination campaigns throughout 2021.
The report also revealed how major media groups and their agencies performed in the UK throughout fiscal year 2021, showing that group and agency performance both varied a great deal, with standouts in either direction of business.
OMG, the Omnicom agency group that comprises OMD UK and MG OMD, racked up $862m worth of new business, with the lion’s share coming from MG OMD’s retention of the CCS account.
But it was Publicis Groupe that took the most total wins on the year (£311m) followed by Omnicom Media Group (£289m) in second.
Publicis agencies Zenith (£119m), Starcom (£92m), and Spark Foundry (£60m) ranked first, third, and fourth, respectively, in new UK business last year, with MG OMD taking second (£107m).
WPP’s GroupM, meanwhile, was recorded to have a net loss of £43m ($56m), having lost £526m in media billings. These losses were offset against by their wins (£154m) and retentions (£319m).
A significant portion of the GroupM losses came from Wavemaker, which had a net loss of £167m worth of business last year.