News Corp drops media agency UM for Mediacom

News Corp Australia Australia’s largest newspaper publisher News Corp Australia has dropped its media agency UM after only just over two years, in favour of Mediacom, Mumbrella can reveal.

The move comes on the same day Mediacom released the findings of an audit report which showed staff at the agency had forged TV campaign reports for three of its biggest clients for at least two years.

But in a show of confidence for the beleaguered Mediacom, Mumbrella understands that Damian Eales, chief marketer of News Corp, this morning informed UM of the decision to move the newspaper marketing budget, thought to be worth $10m.

When contacted Mark Pejic referred enquiries to Eales while Mat Baxter has now told Mumbrella: “we wish Mediacom and News Corp well in their future relationship.”

Pay TV company Foxtel, which is 50 per cent owned by News Corp, was one of the three clients caught up in the practice of staff altering target numbers in post campaign reports when their media buys had failed to meet them. Foxtel moved its business, worth around $50m, from Mediacom to fellow GroupM agency Mindshare at the end of last year.

UM won the News Corp business in late 2012 as part of a big shakeup which saw Mediabrands’ UM pick up the newspaper business; GroupM’s Mediacom win Foxtel and ZenithOptimedia win Twentieth Century Fox.

Nic Christensen

The full statement:

News Corp Australia’s group director of marketing Damian Eales today announced the appointment of MediaCom as its new media agency.
In taking its business under the Group M umbrella News Corp Australia joins its sister businesses Foxtel, FOX SPORTS, REA and Carsguide who are also with Group M companies.
Mr Eales said: “John Steedman recently approached us with a compelling demonstration of the benefits associated with putting all our business under one account.
“The deal John and Mark Pejic put on the table with MediaCom offers financial benefits and business synergies that we felt justified the change and made a lengthy pitch process an unnecessary encumbrance on the industry.
“We are excited at the prospect of working with Mark and everyone at MediaCom.”
MediaCom’s chief executive Mark Pejic said: “I am absolutely delighted that News Corp has decided to consolidate its business with Group M. We welcome the opportunity to work with News Corp Australia’s brands alongside REA and CarsGuide who are already MediaCom clients.”
Mr Eales thanked the company’s former media agency UM, saying “We have had a very productive relationship with Mat Baxter and the team at UM over the past two and a half years. They’ve done a terrific job on our account, which we are grateful for. We wish them every success in the future.”
MediaCom will take over the account following a period of transition from UM.



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