[B&T has updated this story] Publicis has reportedly pitched the idea of a standalone agency if it were to win Toyota’s media in Australia as arguably the hottest local media pitch in years draws to a conclusion.
Insiders involved in the pitch process have told B&T Publicis’ plans have elevated it to one of the frontrunners to snare the business that’s said to be worth not shy of $100 million annually.
Publicis declined B&T’s request to comment on this story.
Adding to the speculation, with Publicis’ Spark Foundry having just snared Westpac’s $70 million media spend away from Wavemaker, it’s definitely the agency with the most momentum.
In a statement a Toyota spokesperson told B&T: “It is not uncommon for Toyota Australia to review its agency relationships from time to time as part of best practice processes. All reviews are managed between involved stakeholders as appropriate and any updates will be communicated in due course.”
The Japanese carmaker’s media is currently handled by independent agency The Media Store in Australia who B&T also understands remains well and truly in the mix to retain the business.
According to B&T’s mole, five agencies remain in the running.
Again, The Media Store is a hot contender to retain the business, while Publicis’ offer of a bespoke agency has dramatically elevated it in the rankings.
IPG’s UM is also a serious contender due to the fact it already has Toyota’s luxury marque, Lexus, on the books.
While Dentu’s Carat and dentsuX can’t be ruled out given the Japanese agency’s strong ties to the Japanese carmaker.
B&T understands GroupM’s MediaCom is also in with a very strong chance.
Toyota’s creative in Australia continues to be handled by Saatchi & Saatchi, part of the Publicis group, adding further credibility to the holding company’s chances of snaring the media account as well.
Following a grim 2020 thanks to COVID, Toyota’s local pitch remains the hottest new piece of business to arrive on agency bosses’ desk in some years with industry gossip speculating “heads are on the block” for agency bosses that don’t snare the highly lucrative piece of work.
B&T understands the winning agency will be announced in the coming days, weeks.
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