PHD tops the pitch league for global media agencies in Q1 2020

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 21 May 2020

Omnicom-owned PHD was the top global media agency in the three months to the end of March with total new business valued at $440 million, according to the latest analysis by independent consultancy COMvergence.

The big wins for PHD in a thinner market-- total pitch wins were down by about half on last year -- included the $300 million Diageo global account along with Casper and Lindt wins in the US.

MediaCom was in second place mainly due to the Hasbro global win as well as several significant pitch successes in China.

Third was Wavemaker due to the retentions of Daimler in China and DoorDash in the US. Mindshare was next followed by  Zenith at fifth.

The average retention rate during the quarter was 39%, higher than previous years.

However, the rate was influenced by the low volume of concluded pitches and the dominance of retentions in China (74%).

chart 1

COMvergence assessed more than 440 media account moves and retentions across 45 countries totalling about $US2.9 billion, down by about half compared to the same three  months in 2019.

WPP’s GroupM was in top position among the big six global media agency groups, scoring strong new business results across most regions, particularly in EMEA and APAC.

The GroupM’s three largest agency networks -- MediaCom, Wavemaker, Mindshare -- ranked second, third and four  respectively.

OMG was second with Publicis Media third.

Mediabrands, despite being ranked fourth among the big six, had least amount of billings loss during the first quarter. 


China and the US dominated media pitch activity in terms of reviewed spend ($US1.5 billion combined) and represents half of the total spend globally. 

The five largest global/multi-country concluded reviews: BBVA, Diageo, Emirates, Hasbro, and Intersnack, resulting in $665 million.

Local reviews represented $2.1 billion or 74% of the total. This includes Tailored Brands ($102 million) and DoorDash ($91 million) in the US; Daimler ($220 million), Shanghai GM ($139 million), PepsiCo ($118 million) and SAIC Volkswagen ($88 million) in China.

Out of the total media spend reviewed the quarter, only $140 million in billings were assigned to independent agencies.

This includes Madison Media ($73 million) in India with the retention of Titan; Crossmedia ($13 million) with the European win of Tommy Hilfiger and Mediaplus ($12 million) with the European win of De’Longhi.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus