TikTok Sends Global Media Account to Omnicom’s PHD

The assignment encompasses all international markets outside of China

PHD will work closely with TikTok's global leadership team in Beijing. - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Erik Oster

TikTok, a social media platform that has grown rapidly over the course of the past year, has selected Omnicom Media Group’s PHD as its global media agency of record following a review.

PHD will be tasked with handling media planning and buying duties across all channels in international markets outside of China, working closely with the social network’s global leadership team in Beijing.

“As the New York Times said earlier this year, ‘TikTok is changing the way social media works.’ It’s the upstart that is rewriting the rules of the game,” PHD U.S. CEO Nathan Brown said. “And that makes them the perfect client for PHD, where upstarts and start-ups sit side-by side with iconic brands.”

That article, “How TikTok Is Rewriting the World,” delved into some of the ways the social media platform is different from its predecessors and why it has seen such fast growth, particularly with younger audiences.

In May 2018, Brown spoke with Adweek about PHD’s approach of balancing big business and startup clients while referring to PHD as a “challenger brand” itself.

“I made a decision that the Deltas and VWs are important, but having startups and upstarts in portfolio will not only help attract different kinds of talent and retain it longer, but also to be better with bigger clients,” he said at the time. “We don’t want them all to be Fortune 500. They won’t keep you successful in the long run.”

“We’re delighted to be partnering with TikTok at this exciting stage in the platform’s growth journey,” PHD global CEO Philippa Brown, who was promoted to that role in May 2019, said in a statement. “The global assignment utilizes PHD’s key network capabilities and expertise in areas such as technology, data and digital content.”

The appointment follows the NFL handing off media duties to Omnicom Media Group’s OMD without a review last week.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.