Hasbro Calls Global Media Agency Review

Toy marketing giant Hasbro has just issued an RFP for a consolidation review of its global media agency assignment.

Word of the review comes several months after the Pawtucket, RI-based company added two new senior management posts. In February, it elevated company veteran David Hargreaves to the position of executive vice president corporate strategy and business development.  At the same time, it appointed another veteran at the firm, Wiebe Tinga, to the post of chief commercial officer. Tinga has been tasked with overseeing all of the company’s commercial activities across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

The global review comes a little more than two years after the company conducted an extensive North American media agency review that was won by Interpublic Group’s Initiative. WPP’s MediaCom had been the longtime incumbent. Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Media and Omnicom’s PHD also participated in that review.

Hasbro spends an estimated $175 million on ads in North America. That figure includes ads to promote the Hub TV Network, the cable network it owns in a joint venture with Discovery Communications. Total global ad spending for the company was not immediately available.

In addition to its toy business the company produces TV programming through its Los Angeles-based Hasbro Studios both for the Hub and for 170 markets around the world.

Initiative declined to comment on the review, referring questions to Hasbro. A Hasbro official did not immediately respond to a call asking for comment.

According to sources, the RFP was issued last week and responses are due in August.

On Monday, Hasbro reported that its second-quarter revenues fell 6% to $766 million with a 12% decline in adjusted net earnings to $38.3 million. Earlier, the company said it is undertaking a cost savings initiative designed to better align resources and costs while targeting $100 million in annual savings by 2015.

"Across our business, we are increasing our focus on our most important initiatives while right sizing our cost base," stated Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. He noted that the company has expanded its digital gaming capabilities with the acquisition of 70% of mobile game producer Backflip Studios. He added that Hasbro is “developing comprehensive and innovative lines for both film and television entertainment in the coming years.”
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