Cox Communications moved its $150 million advertising business to Dentsu in a big blow to rival Publicis

  • Cox Communications moved its $150 million ad business to Dentsu agency iProspect, ending a 10-year relationship with Publicis.
  • The pitch came as Cox competes against larger rivals Comcast and Charter.
  • IProspect's performance marketing work was a decisive factor for Cox.
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Cox Communications picked Dentsu agency iProspect to handle its US ad planning and buying business, ending a 10-year relationship with rival Publicis.

Cox, the third-largest cable and broadband provider reaching 5.1 million homes in the US, competes with far larger competitors Comcast and Charter Communications. Its ad strategy is aimed at promoting its streaming service Contour and basic broadband products as more viewers cut the cord. Cox spends around $150 million on advertising in the US each year, a spokesman said.

Read more: Meet the 12 Dentsu execs who just gained power from the advertising company's new data-focused reorg

The win expands iProspect's 15-year relationship with Cox. The agency previously handled Cox's performance marketing, or campaigns where advertisers only pay when a consumer clicks or makes a purchase. The new business was awarded late October, about two months after news of the review went live.

Cox Communications EVP, chief marketing and sales officer Mark Greatrex cited iProspect's work in performance marketing and the company's desire to consolidate its media business with one agency.

"This win represents an integrated model we have been building across our network," said iProspect CEO Jeremy Cornfeldt. 

The news marks a significant loss for Publicis, which otherwise had been winning new business. A person with direct knowledge said incumbent agency Spark Foundry, part of Publicis Media, defended in the pitch.

Parent company Cox Enterprises has shaken up other parts of its ad business in recent months, awarding the Cox Automotive account to Dentsu rival Omnicom in summer 2020.

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