- Much of the ad industry came to a halt in March as the pandemic led marketers to slash spending and delay reviews of their accounts.
- But activity has since picked up, with a focus on media-buying, which is where the most money changes hands.
- The key reviews ad agencies are watching include names like T-Mobile, Sanofi, and Visa that spend billions on advertising and want to consolidate their business with a single agency or holding company.
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When the pandemic hit the US in March, advertising all but came to a halt as brands slashed spending and halted new campaign production.
The last thing any CMO wanted to do was go embark on an agency review, an expensive, monthslong process to determine the advertising agencies they want to handle their business.
But with some exceptions like Samsung, which just cancelled a massive pitch for its US media-buying and digital marketing business, reviews have started again.
Mitchell Caplan, managing director at consulting firm Flock Associates, said he expected the pace to intensify heading into 2021 as brands resume reviews they postponed this year and others re-evaluate their marketing in a world changed by the pandemic.
These are the most anticipated accounts in review, according to conversations with industry insiders. Spending estimates come from Paris-based market research firm Comvergence, and the accounts are listed in descending order by those totals.