Consumer Goods giant Reckitt Benckiser has awarded its U.S. media planning and buying assignment to Aegis Media which will succeed incumbent ZenithOptimedia, a unit of Publicis Groupe. Aegis is new to the RB media agency roster, while ZO remains an RB shop serving other markets, along with Interpublic Group's Initiative and Havas Media.
The U.S. shift was part of a global media agency review that RB began in the summer. The company estimated that its global media spending in 2012 was roughly $1.7 billion. In the U.S. last year Reckitt spent an estimated $400 million.
Initiative, which had previously handled a small piece of RB’s business was awarded a significantly bigger assignment, most notably adding India to its responsibilities. That market, one of the so-called BRIC countries, was also previously served by ZO. RB noted that it is a top-5 fast-moving consumer goods advertiser in India.
Initiative doubled the number of countries it’s handling for the client to eight. It will also handle Germany, Slovakia, Malaysia, Singapore and a few others.
Heather Allen, RB’s executive vice president global category development, stated, “We were delighted with the quality of the proposals we received from both our existing partners and the new ones, with whom we’re excited to be working with for the first time on a global basis. Our media investment is critical for our brands to engage with consumers around the world…and we’re looking forward to successful growth for our agency partners and us going forward.”
The review came after the company hired Richard Davies as director of global media in May. He oversaw the process. Previously Davies was a senior media executive at Unilever. Before that he held posts at several advertising and media shops including Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Mindshare and Initiative.
The company last conducted a global media review in 2009, when it divided the assignment between MPG (since rebranded Havas Media) and ZO.
Company revenues totaled more than $14.5 billion last year. Brands include Nurofen, Mucinex, Durex, Scholl, Lysol, Dettol, Clearasil, Finish, Vanish, Woolite, Calgon, Air Wick, and French’s.