Two major fast food chains contributed to a quarter of the billings globally for January.
Global new-business billings totalled US$3.1 billion in January, down 43% for the same period in 2021, according to data from Campaign’s Advertising Intelligence tool in partnership with R3.
January 2021 saw billings of almost twice the amount at $5.5 billion. The number of pitches also declined by a third (31%) from 607 in 2021 to 419.
Overall, media reviews got off to a better start than creative and represented $2.1 billion (67%) of total billings.
McDonald’s consolidated its media buying and planning with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom—the $500 million US account was won from Omnicom’s OMD.
KFC in the US put both its creative and media accounts, worth $300 million, up for review. Both were originally held by Wieden & Kennedy.
MullenLowe Group, part of Interpublic, won the creative business for $150 million and Publicis Groupe’s Spark Foundry won the media pitch also for $150 million.
Alongside McDonald's, Stada pharmaceuticals also consolidated its media offering in January. Omnicom’s OMD won the media planning and buying brief in EMEA for $67 million.
Brands such as Google, Coca-Cola and Meta have all recently consolidated their accounts with a single agency. This, explained Michael Epstein, global and US chief executive officer at Starcom, is because it takes the complexity out of the system.
“I think it’s predicated on augmenting what brands know about the people they want to develop relationships with and to create richer and more immersive experiences in media in a seamless way,” he said.
Among the “big six” holding companies, WPP secured the top spot and was the only agency to surpass the $1 billion mark in January ($1.1 billion).
WPP picked up a Dyson media account for $315 million in China as well as a creative account for a pharmaceuticals and healthcare client in the US for $55 million.
Publicis Groupe came second with $758 million in billings. In addition to the McDonald’s and KFC account wins, the company saw two of its agencies add a creative and media account for the Singapore Tourism Board. The creative account was awarded to BBH for $46.4 million and media to Zenith for $26.5 million.
Omnicom came third with $606 million in billings; OMD also retained the $60 million Levi's global media account.
In contrast, both Interpublic and Havas saw billings of less than £500m—$203 million and $153 million respectively.