British multinational telecommunications company Vodafone has selected Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat as its global media buying and planning agency partner, following a review.
The appointment came “after an extensive process,” a Vodafone spokesperson confirmed. “Dentsu Aegis has strong credentials to support Vodafone, particularly with regards to their experience supporting other clients who have moved digital media buying in house.”
WPP’s GroupM formerly handled global media buying and planning for Vodafone and defended in the review, according to a source with knowledge of the account. GroupM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Vodafone spends about $530 million on media globally, according to data consultancy COMvergence. The portion of the account handled by agency partners could dwindle in the coming year, however, as Vodafone continues to build up its in-house media buying capabilities with biddable digital media last year, and now has in-house media buying capabilities across a number of markets in Europe and Africa.
GroupM retains media buying responsibilities in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Netherlands, according a source with knowledge of the account. That source characterized the account as greatly reduced in size, with a remit of around $340 million and estimated it would continue to shrink by about 1/3 over the course of the next year.
“Vodafone is a future-focused organization, challenging old ways of doing things while pioneering the new and maximizing the opportunities of the digital economy,” said Will Swayne, Dentsu Aegis Network’s chief client officer of media and performance, in a statement. “We are delighted to be partnering with them, integrating the best of our agency capabilities to accelerate Vodafone’s evolution to become market-leading in digital marketing and in-house media buying.”
GroupM and Carat were the two finalists in Vodafone’s 2014 global media agency review, after incumbent OMD was eliminated.