Bupa calls review – plans to consolidate creative and media

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 14 October 2016

Healthcare giant Bupa is reviewing its media and creative agency arrangements, with plans to consolidate both with one agency.

The media account, with an annual ad spend of $17 million, is currently with OMD Melbourne. The creative is handled by Big Red, which won the account from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne in 2014. Up until that point Clems had held the account for more than 20 years.

The client move reflects the changing agency landscape with clients becoming increasingly frustrated by the number of agency partners they have to manage. More creative agencies such as Leo Burnett and McCann are adding media to their capabilities and full-service agencies such as Cummins&Partners and MullenLowe are gaining momentum.

Speaking to AdNews, Bupa’s marketing director John Moore says: “We’re in the process of reviewing our media and creative agencies which is part of our standard process to review on a regular basis.

“We’ve made the decision that a combined media/creative solution offers the best solution for Bupa’s marketing needs and reflects the convergence of media and creative in our ever increasing digital and content focus. We are looking to make a decision by the end of the year.”

While OMD is a media only shop, it will most likely draw on one of the creative agencies within its parent group Omnicom in the fight to retain the business. 

On the subject of why brands can lean into this type of model, head of media and strategy at McCann in Melbourne, David Phillips, says: "Clients want the idea to be wrapped in the channel and the channel to be wrapped in the idea. While there are competing interests, this is never going to happen."

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