Campaign AI global new-biz round-up: August billings exceed $6bn

Planet Fitness: chose Publicis Groupe to handle advertising and media
Planet Fitness: chose Publicis Groupe to handle advertising and media

Major account moves include Planet Fitness, TD Bank and Unilever.

New business in the global agency landscape continues to improve, with total billings hitting $6.2bn in August, figures from Campaign’s Advertising Intelligence shows.

Billings reached $4.6bn and $4.5bn in the same month in 2020 and 2019 respectively – 35% and 38% lower compared with August 2021. This year's August’s figure was also significantly up from the previous month, when billings were $3.9bn – an increase of 59% month on month.

The number of account moves showed a decline, however, indicating reviews were of a higher value this year. There were 431 moves in August, compared with 678 a year earlier, although it was roughly in line with 440 in August 2019.

In creative reviews, the biggest move in August was the $200m US business for gym chain Planet Fitness, which chose Publicis Groupe. The company set up a dedicated unit called Team Lift to service the account.

WPP also had a strong showing, landing TD Bank for US and Canada. The business is split between David and Ogilvy, valued at $60m and $50m respectively.

Meanwhile, TBWA picked up the $50m task for National Australia Bank in its home market.

The only independent to make it into the top five wins in August was Laundry Service, which won betting and casino brand WynnBet covering the US, worth $40m.

Unilever led the biggest media pitch of 2021 and unsurprisingly was responsible for some of the highest-value account moves in August.

Mindshare won the largest chunk of Unilever’s global business, landing $3bn worth of billings – the biggest winner by far.

Havas Media, PHD and Initiative all scooped some markets, too, with their briefs worth a respective $322m, $251m and $220m.

OMD’s place on the UK government’s new-look communications roster was valued at $350m, while Publicis’ win of the US Planet Fitness business also includes media and is worth $200m.

Looking at holding company performance, like in July, WPP led the pack, with billings of $3.3bn – mostly thanks to Mindshare’s Unilever win. Omnicom also showed a strong performance with billings of $1.5bn.

The rest of the big six had much lower billings, all at below $550m.

Campaign AI tracks agency new business around the world on a monthly basis. Find out more information here.

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