After launching a review this summer, Amazon is consolidating its global media planning and buying duties with the IPG Mediabrands network, according to three people close to the matter. An internal memo went out to staff this afternoon. The winning team will promote Amazon’s ecommerce hub, assorted tech products and Prime subscription service around the world.
The review’s final round saw a Publicis Media conglomerate face off against a “holistic solution” group consisting of teams drawn from multiple IPG agencies including Initiative.
Initiative beat out WPP’s Mindshare to win the global business in 2013, with MEC retaining digital buying duties in the U.S. A spokesperson for MEC said the agency was not involved in this latest review but declined to elaborate on the larger GroupM organization’s relationship with Amazon, which has also included media work in the Asia-Pacific region.
Another source indicated that Amazon’s NDAs were so strict that some executives within the holding groups’ respective media networks did not know which members of their own teams were involved in the pitch.
Representatives for Publicis Media agencies Starcom, Spark Foundry, Zenith and Blue 449 have either declined to comment or not responded to related queries. But all sources who spoke with Adweek about the review confirmed that Publicis was a finalist, and a party who visited Amazon’s New York headquarters in August noted a standard “Welcome Publicis Media” sign in the lobby.
Spokespeople for Initiative and IPG deferred to the client for comment. Adweek has reached out to several people in Amazon’s communications department, none of whom have responded to multiple emails.