UPDATE: DOJ Issues Subpoenas to Omnicom, Publicis and WPP in Production ‘Bid Rigging’ Probe

The four top holding companies, starting a few weeks ago with Interpublic Group, have one or more agency subsidiaries that have received subpoenas as part of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s investigation into video production and post-production bidding practices.

According to an article in today’s issue of Adweek,  “Adweek spoke to several longtime veterans of creative shops and production companies, who described scenarios in which agencies either misled production partners about the rates clients will pay for their work or asked them to offer artificially inflated rates as ‘favors.'”

Allegations assert that agencies are obtaining inflated third party bids to make bids from the in-house agency production studios more competitive and retain the work that would otherwise go to an external production or post-production house.

While representatives from each of the holding companies confirmed that subpoenas had been received by one or more of their agencies, and that they intended to cooperate fully with the DOJ, all declined to provide further details on which agencies had been subpoenaed.


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