OMD UK and Croud win media duties for Comparethemarket

Comparethemarket: appointed OMD
Comparethemarket: appointed OMD

The price comparison site has split brand and some of performance.

Price comparison site, Comparethemarket.com, has appointed OMD UK to handle its media planning and buying and Croud to manage its paid search, following a competitive review.

OMD UK, owned by Omnicom, and Croud, a performance marketing agency backed by private equity firm LDC, beat WPP incumbent agency Wavemaker to the account. 

It is the first time Comparethemarket’s parent BGL Group has put the account up for review since 2014, when Wavemaker’s predecessor MEC won it, which at the time was estimated to be worth £60m a year.

An industry source tells Campaign the annual media spend is closer to the £75m mark.

A BGL spokesperson confirmed the appointments but said the agencies have not yet signed contracts. OMD and Croud did not comment. 

It is thought OMD will handle brand and other above-the-line duties as well as multiplatform comms strategy, paid social and programmatic and Croud will handle pay-per-click for Comparethemarket, which is famed for its meerkat ads. Wavemaker has retained the SEO.

The brand's move to split some of its performance duties from its brand work, rather than keep them integrated with one media agency, will be seen as significant at a time when many advertisers see pros and cons with both strategies.

The media review follows the appointment of Mark Bailie as chief executive of BGL Group and Comparethemarket. He started in September 2020 and brings a financial background after ten years in banking.

AAR and MediaSense supported Comparethemarket on the pitch.

Wavemaker told Campaign it was “proud and humbled” to work with Comparethemarket for the past seven years.

Wavemaker UK chief executive Paul Hutchison added: “Many of us have delivered some of the best work of our careers as a result of our seven year partnership, and while it’s always sad to lose a client,  we wish them only the very best in this new chapter."

VCCP has been Comparethemarket’s advertising agency since 2007, creating the meerkat characters. Havas Helia won the site’s CRM in 2019.

Comparethemarket is the second price comparison pitch that an Omnicom media agency has secured recently. Hearts & Science retained GoCompare for three more years without a review.

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