Agency Reviews and Roster Changes by Bruno Gralpois

A summary of newsworthy client/agency relationship developments and relevant marketing or agency management trends from the past month by Bruno Gralpois, Co-Founder & Principal Agency Mania Solutions.


By Bruno Gralpois, Co-Founder & Principal Agency Mania Solutions. 


  • Technology company Tile hired Deutsch as its first agency of record. The agency will handle creative, digital, media planning and buying, strategy and analytics, and will partner with DuMont Project on performance media and direct response marketing.
  • Furniture retailer Ashley HomeStore hired independent Empower MediaMarketing as its new media strategy and planning agency, replacing IPG McCann Minneapolis. The agency will work the brand’s 700 mostly licensee-owned locations across 36 countries. Icon International continues to handle media buying.
  • The fourth-largest beer marketer in the U.S., Heineken USA consolidated lead digital and social agency duties across its major brands (Heineken, Heineken Light, Dos Equis, Tecate and Strongbow) with Omnicom’s Red Urban after a review. Previously, the brand used various digital shops like We Are Social, Havas, Publicis, 360i and Nomades.
  • Heineken USA also shifted U.S. creative duties on Tecate to Nomades, a Mexican-based agency, replacing incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi New York.
  • The official Spanish-language home of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, Telemundo, selected Anomaly as strategy and creative lead agency for the broadcast of the event, following a formal review involving several agencies. There was no incumbent.
  • Party City hired Hill Holliday as its lead agency for creative, digital and media duties following a competitive review, replacing incumbent Zimmerman, which worked with the brand since 2009.
  • Digital trading firm E-Trade appointed MullenLowe as its new creative and strategic AOR, following a review and replacing incumbent R/GA. The brand hired sibling Interpublic Group agency R/GA two years prior to lead the creative business. E-Trade hired MDC’s Assembly as its media agency last year.
  • Carl’s Jr. hired Vice-owned Carrot as its social and digital agency of record following a review. The agency will collaborate with creative AOR 72andSunny.
  • World Kitchen (which owns brands Corelle, Pyrex, Revere, Corningware, Chicago Cutlery, Baker’s Secret, Snapware and Visions) appointed Omnicom’s The Integer Group as its digital agency of record following a review. The agency will handle digital strategy, campaign development, social media activity and content development, SEO, and media planning and buying duties.
  • Global professional services company Accenture named UM, part of IPG Mediabrands, as its new global media agency of record, replacing incumbent and three-decade-long partner MEC, part of WPP’s GroupM. MEC started working with Accenture in 1987. The agency will collaborate with a team of different agencies, including TBWA Worldwide, DigitasLBi, Landor and Interbrand.
  • Chicken wing chain Wingstop started a search for a creative agency, following a media review that led to the appointment of Publicis’ Starcom USA as its first national media agency of record to handle strategic media planning and activation, and Publicis’ Performics for search and social. The brand used agencies for projects as well as more strategic assignments.
  • Fashion brand Coach selected IPG Mediabrands’ UM as its global media agency of record in an effort to integrate media and creativity. The agency will handle media buying and planning services in North America and Asia, replacing incumbent OMD in the U.S.
  • Yogurt company Fage Yogurt launched an agency review after an almost seven-year relationship with IPG’s MullenLowe, after replacing former AOR Ogilvy & Mather at the time. The agency currently handles social, digital, creative, public relations, branding, and media buying and planning.
  • MGM Resorts International (owner of the Bellagio, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Mandalay Bay and other properties) consolidated its creative marketing strategies with PHD for media and McCann for creative. The brand also shifted programmatic in-house (with a team of 10) in order to use first-party data more quickly, a move spearheaded by Adobe and its consulting services.