AT&T has picked Omnicom Group to handle ad and media duties on its $3bn ad account, following a competitive review that pitted the holding company against other main incumbent, WPP.
In addition to creative and media, the work will include digital, data and analytics, with recently created third media agency Hearts & Sciences leading the media work and BBDO heading up creative.
According to a statement by AT&T senior executive vice president and global marketing officer Lori Lee, who replaced Cathy Coughlin in April 2015, the company believes that an “integrated, best-in-class approach” is the future for brands wanting innovation, quality and efficiency at scale.
“Both Omnicom and WPP presented very strong strategy, creative and media proposals,” she added. Each of them enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to create a new integrated agency model for delivering higher levels of service and value across the board.
“It was a thorough and thoughtful evaluation, and a tough decision because both firms presented outstanding ideas and both have done terrific work for us in the past. We thank them both for their efforts.
Lee expressed that a single integrated team allowed the company to “move quickly, innovate at scale and take a data-driven, holistic approach to reaching consumers and businesses” in readiness for the business to launch new streaming video entertainment choices built for mobile.
WPP’s MEC won the consolidation review in 2007, when the client was spending an estimated $2.3bn per year.
“We expect a smooth transition of the work to Omnicom will happen over the coming weeks,” said Lee. “Like Omnicom, WPP is a world-class group and we appreciate their hard work and 9-year partnership.”
In a statement, Omnicom said that, by combining the resources of Hearts & Sciences and BBDO, the agency looks forward to continuing its work with AT&T.
“This is an opportunity like none other,” said the statement. “AT&T is a unique, premier brand that is constantly innovating for its customers and we’re privileged to expand our partnership with them.
“We look forward to developing break-through work with AT&T around their unique integrated capabilities to serve consumers and businesses.”