Ikea taps GroupM and Dentsu as global media partners

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 7 July 2016
Swedish furniture store Ikea has consolidated its media to two holding companies.

Ikea has chosen WPP’s GroupM and Dentsu Aegis Network as its global holding company partners, raising questions about Match Media’s future with the Swedish furniture maker.

Four holding companies, including Publicis Media and IPG Mediabrands, were invited to pitch at Ikea’s headquarters in the southern Swedish city of Malmo last month.

The aim of the review is to consolidate Ikea’s fragmented media business into only two holding groups, with each local market then choosing their preferred agency partner in a locally-managed reviews.

Match Media chief executive Jon Preston told AdNews he was unsure what the repercussions would be for Match; the agency enjoys a strong 13-year relationship with Ikea, a foundation client, and has another six months to run on its contract.

"I anticipate we will hear from the client today what this will mean for Match," Preston said.

In the last global review in 2009, Ikea opted to stick with Match in Australia irrespective of where the business shifted elsewhere in the world.

This time it could be different because the previously independent Match is now part of Publicis and the aim of the global review is to consolidate all media spend into two holding groups.

The six agencies in the running across Ikea's 30 markets are ­­GroupM’s Mindshare, MEC, Maxus, MediaCom, and Dentsu’s Carat and Vizeum.

GroupM and Dentsu already have the largest chunk of Ikea’s around $600 million global media business, with MEC (the US) and Vizeum (the UK) responsible for media duties in Ikea’s two largest markets since 2009.

In Australia, Carat is likely to be ruled out because it already has Freedom Furniture on its books.

In nearby Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, Vizeum won the Ikea account late last year.

“After our search and having received four very strong strategic proposals, we are pleased to announce we will be working with both GroupM and Dentsu Aegis. We thank all the agency groups for participating and for all their hard work,” Ikea said in a statement.

Other agencies contacted by AdNews declined to comment.

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