Global new business slowed down in December and the number of pitches dropped below 500, according to data from Campaign’s Advertising Intelligence tool in partnership with R3.
As the year came to an end, so did accounts up for review. Billings for December reached just $3 billion—February was the only month to have generated lower adspend at $2.85 billion.
In contrast, new business picked up in December 2020, after slowing right down because of Covid. Billings for December 2020 were double that of 2021 at $6.6bn—the highest for the year.
The number of pitches also took a hit in 2021, dropping by more than 40% (41.4%) from 776 in 2020 to 322.
Two-thirds of new-business billings in December were attributed to media reviews, with 217 pitches that brought in $1.98 billion. Although creative had more accounts up for review (237), it contributed only $1 billion in adspend.
In comparison, media spend was at an all-time high in December 2020, with 414 wins that generated $5.4 billion, which contributed to 82% of the total billings. There were 362 creative accounts worth $1.2 billion, only slightly above 2021’s figure.
In December 2021 two media pitches accounted for more than $100 million on adspend. Mortgage company LoanDepot spent $150 million in the US with WPP’s Mindshare and healthcare company Kaiser Permanente, also in the US, allocated $120 million to Omnicom’s Hearts & Science.
In the creative sector, Interpublic's R/GA picked up a Samsung account in the US worth $60 million and Dentsu was awarded an FMCG client account in China for $69.7 million.
On the holding company front, from the “big six”, three generated more than $500 million. WPP took the top spot again with total billings of $727 million, Dentsu and Omnicom were not too far behind with $715 million and $651 million, respectively.
WPP’s top client, LoanDepot, accounted for 20.6% of the company’s billings for the month and Dentsu’s FMCG client contributed to just under 10% (9.8%). Omnicom's biggest spender, Kaiser Permanente, accounted for 18.4%.
Havas generated $228 million and Publicis Groupe, which held the top spot in October, had total billings of just $55 million.