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Audible Consolidates $500 Million Global Media Account With Wavemaker

Adweek | May 25, 2022 | Olivia Morley

GroupM’s global scale and tech helped the agency win

By consolidating its media investment with a single agency, Audible aims to streamline its global marketing initiatives.Audible, Wavemaker

Audible, the Amazon subsidiary that provides audio storytelling, consolidated its global paid media with GroupM agency Wavemaker following a review that began late last year.

The brand’s global media investment sits at $500 million, according to a source familiar with the review who spoke with Adweek anonymously. All of it will go to Wavemaker.

Although its headquarters are in Newark, N.J., the audio brand operates in 10 markets, including in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Germany, India, Japan and Australia. Before now, it had a different media agency in each of those markets, according to the anonymous source. By consolidating its media investment with a single agency, Audible aims to streamline its global marketing initiatives.

OMG’s Hearts & Sciences managed the media in the U.K. while Publicis Media’s Spark Foundry held the U.S. account. Hearts & Sciences defended the account, but was eliminated earlier in the process. Spark Foundry defended the U.S. business, which it has managed since 2017, according to another source who wished to speak anonymously. Spark Foundry, Initiative and Wavemaker were finalists.

Seeking global connections

Wavemaker found out the news today, according to its U.S. COO Sharb Farjami. The agency took home the business, Farjami thinks, because of its global scale and inherent connectedness.

“I think we’re clearly very connected, not just from a cultural perspective but as a team,” Farjami told Adweek.

Farjami believes GroupM’s investment tools and tech, including Choreograph and the newly-formed technology layer GroupM Nexus, influenced the decision. Wavemaker’s marketing science team, MIS, also played a significant role in the pitch process, which the COO said was “heavily performance oriented.”

Cynthia Chu, Audible’s CFO and growth officer, led the agency selection process on the brand side, along with Susan Jurevics, Audible’s evp, head of international. The growth consultancy ID Comms managed the review.

“Wavemaker’s energized approach to media will help Audible reach many more potential customers around the world and their global background will bring a nuanced, individualized approach to each marketplace in which we offer our service,” said Chu in a statement.

ID Comms, OMG and Publicis Media declined to comment for this story. Audible did not respond to Adweek’s requests for comment before the time of publication.

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