In Depth

What's in Your Wallet? Media Agency Horizon Media Continues Winning Big Accounts

By Rupal Parekh
Advertising Age

Capital One has shifted its $360 million media account to independent Horizon from Publicis Groupe's MediaVest after a review, according to executives familiar with the matter. MediaVest had handled the business for nearly a decade.

The shops referred calls for comment to the bank, which did not return multiple requests for comment. Capital One launched a pitch for its media-planning and -buying account late last year, and the field started wide, including media agencies from numerous holding companies. But by the final round of the review, in the last several weeks, it was a faceoff between the incumbent, MediaVest, and Horizon.

The shift of Capital One's media business out of Publicis comes on the heels of another account move last fall, which saw the marketer's digital media business move to Dentsu-owned 360i from Publicis' Razorfish after a pitch.

Capital One ranks No. 93 on Ad Age's most recent 100 Leading National Advertisers report, with more than $362 million in U.S. ad spending. It has fallen on the list after the company, in the midst of the recession, slashed ad spending between 2009 and 2008. In 2008 it was No. 61 on Ad Age's 100 Leading National Advertisers list with more than $650 million spent on media in the U.S.

For MediaVest, the loss of the Capital One business will mean saying goodbye to a chunk of revenue, but it isn't likely to dramatically affect the shop, which has in the past year won a number of accounts. Among those are the $70 million traditional and digital media-planning and -buying accounts for Aflac, CBS Films' media account and the $155 million Turner Broadcasting business.

For Horizon, which was Ad Age’s 2010 Media Agency of the Year, the win caps a new-business run that netted more than $600 million in billings in 2010 and added clients such as Google, Weight Watchers and Quiznos.