Horizon Reels In $150 Million Turner Broadcasting Buying Account

Turner Broadcasting has awarded its estimated $150 million media-buying assignment to Horizon Media after a review.

The agency will handle buying for all Turner Networks, which include CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, Turner Sports and TBS among others. However, Turner will continue to handle search marketing and social media in-house.

The incumbent was MediaVest, part of Publicis Groupe’s Starcom Mediavest Group, which won the business in 2010. Previously, Turner had handled buying in house.

Turner confirmed that MediaVest was not invited to defend. “It was time to make a change,” said Dennis Camlek, SVP Turner Media Group at Turner Broadcasting. “We worked with them for five years, which says a lot.”

As for the choice of Horizon, which will officially take the reins at the start of 2015, Camlek credited their category experience, both past (NBC broadcast and cable networks) and present (A&E, History).

“They’re well known and well respected and have deep expertise in tune-in,” which Camlek said is especially critical in today’s on-demand environment.

Camlek also said that Horizon’s pricing proposals were “strong.”

And Horizon has an impressive array of advanced activation tools that Turner can tap into, said Camlek, an agency veteran who worked at both Horizon and Omnicom’s PHD.

Camlek said he is still working with the agency on who will lead the Turner business.

The review began a few months back and Turner talked with six or seven shops, narrowing the list down to three finalists, which he declined to disclose.

The Turner assignment is the second big piece of business that has shifted from Starcom MediaVest Group to Horizon this year. Earlier this year Burger King shifted its estimated $250 million media assignment from Starcom to Horizon.

Turner did not use an outside search consultant to assist with the process.

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