The four largest holding companies are now involved in US Federal 'bid rigging' probe with the biggest WPP confirming subpoena today

BIG-4_NETWORKS.jpgAdWeek in New York reports that the US federal government's investigation into allegations of antitrust practices at major ad agencies has expanded to include WPP, the world's largest holding company.

WPP this morning released the following statement on its website: "WPP confirms that, similarly to Interpublic, Omnicom and Publicis, three of its subsidiaries have received subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division concerning the Division's ongoing investigation of video production and post-production practices in the advertising industry. WPP and its subsidiaries are fully cooperating with the enquiries."

That means all four of the largest holding companies by revenue have been subpoenaed by the federal government as its investigation into reports of "bid rigging" continues.

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6 Comments

ACCC said:

It's been happening in Australia for years, same network.

honest said:

at long last.this investigation should include client procurement telling agencies which production outfit they must use.

Completely agree. said:


Yes. Agree with point above.
Post Production and production companies would welcome this. Or anyone worth their salt anyway.

Zuck said:

Agencies need to offer value and it needs to be competitive and offer value. Too often agencies tell clients that they're getting great value when in fact it's ripoff snake oil.

Unless clients have access to independent, non agency based production value guidance, they have no guarantee of production bid accountability and transparency.

It's not hard to overcome any agency antics.

There a are few companies who are not just cost controllers (a race to the cost bottom = unsustainable) but true independent production specialists. Try

1. Trinity P3 (IMO - experts in agency/client management/remuneration. Unsure of production guidance experience beyond benchmarking)

2. MCA (Based in London. One man in Australia, but with an office in Singapore. Very experienced.

3. PV Partnerships. Australian based. Production consultants only. Highly experienced Across Digital/TV/Print. (Author interest!) but IMO the most transparent and experienced production guidance in the country.

Matter of time said:

The investigations into Rigged Pitches by agencies, and Price Fixing by media agencies are coming.

Crap ya pants.

ACCC said:

@ Zuck. All these so called production consultants worked with the major agency network in Australia and did not pick up on the bid rigging "profit sharing" saga.

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