Ikea Splits $444M Global Media Between Incumbents Dentsu Aegis and WPP

Individual Agencies From the Two Holding Companies Will Battle it Out in Local Markets

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Ikea UK - Come Home to Play 15
Ikea UK - Come Home to Play 15 Credit: Ikea UK/YouTube
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Ikea is consolidating its $444 million global media business into two holding companies, WPP and Dentsu Aegis Group.

Publicis Groupe and Interpublic Group of Companies also pitched for the business, which was previously spread across five agency holding companies. WPP, Dentsu, Publicis and Interpublic all made presentations at Ikea's global headquarters in Malmo, Sweden, in June.

After the global pitch at the holding company level won by two of the incumbents, agencies from WPP's GroupM and Dentsu will compete for Ikea's business around the world whenever local markets do their own reviews. Ikea made the decision this week, and will kick off the local market pitch process later in the summer.

As many as six agencies – WPP's Mindshare, MEC, Maxus and MediaCom; and Dentsu Aegis' Carat and Vizeum networks – could compete for Ikea's media business in each market.

Dentsu Aegis Network and WPP already worked with the Swedish furniture maker in most of the major markets around the world. In the U.S., WPP's MEC has worked with Ikea since the agency won the business during the last media review in 2009. Vizeum, part of Dentsu Aegis Network, won the U.K. business from WPP's MediaCom in the same review.

Ikea previously worked with Interpublic in Italy and Belgium, and Publicis in Australia and Taiwan.

Ikea said in a statement: "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 began the global review process in April, working with media consultants ID Comms, and media auditor MediaPath.

The statement continued, "As part of our commitment to the ongoing improvement of our media and marketing governance, Ikea periodically evaluates all marketing service suppliers to ensure we maintain the best working relationships with the best agency partners."

Creative duties on Ikea – currently split across a number of holding companies and independent agencies around the world – were not under review.