Shawn Lim
Jun 26, 2024

Yum China hands $400 million media account to Publicis

EXCLUSIVE: The KFC and Pizza Hut parent-company has ended its 26-year relationship with GroupM in China, becoming the third brand to do so in recent months.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Yum China has ended its 26-year partnership with GroupM’s Mindshare following a media review. The account, valued at $400 million according to Comvergence, has been awarded to Publicis Media.

The review was called in February, on the back of the GroupM bribery scandal in China. In the same period, two other major GroupM clients, Dyson and Swatch—initiated media reviews. Notably, the incumbent GroupM agencies were excluded from re-pitching for the brand accounts, signaling a potential shift in WPP’s media client relationships in China.

A spokesperson from Publicis Groupe confirmed winning the Yum account in China. In a statement issued to Campaign Asia-Pacific, they said, "We can confirm that we have won the Yum account in China and will be providing services, including media planning and buying."

This development is a significant setback for GroupM’s agencies, which have already lost other long-term clients—Dyson and Swatch—to Publicis in China.

According to Campaign’s Advertising Intelligence, Mindshare's loss of Dyson in the first quarter of 2024 saw the agency finish outside the top five of Campaign's APAC media agency rankings, landing in seventh place. Meanwhile, Wavemaker’s loss of Swatch prevented the agency from taking the top spot from PHD.

In contrast, winning Dyson and Swatch propelled Publicis agencies Zenith and Starcom into third and fourth place, respectively.

However, Mindshare has since bounced back in Campaign's June APAC media agency rankings. The agency climbed five places and replaced Wavemaker in second place after adding $467.5 million in business in June.

Wavemaker has yet to compensate for losing the $79 million Swatch account. So far this year, the agency’s most significant win was the $6.7 million account with Chinese retail group Bananain.

Campaign Asia

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