The final review included WPP’s GroupM and Omnicom’s PHD, Ad Age reported. The review included four key presentations in the US, Latin America, Dubai and Singapore, Campaign Asia-Pacific has learned. The Asia-Pacific leg took place in late December and included MasterCard’s global marketing team from a number of key countries across the region.
“It’s very much a global assessment and they were looking to find a good partner," a source close to the pitch said.
Within the region, China and Australia are significant markets for the company. “Asia-Pacific is being viewed as a growth opportunity and investment levels will rise in the region,” the source added.
Incumbent UM declined to comment.
Estimates place MasterCard's media spend at about $250 million in 2012.
The pitch did not come as a complete surprise for the industry, as MasterCard appointed Raja Rajamannar as chief marketing officer in August, replacing Alfredo Gangotena. Based in Purchase, New York, Rajamannar has global responsibility for MasterCard’s advertising, sponsorships, promotions, research, insights, digital and consumer marketing initiatives.
He previously worked with WellPoint, Humana, Citigroup and Unilever in various senior marketing roles.