Confectioner marketing giant Mars is conducting a global media planning review, the company confirmed Monday.
Much of the business is handled by Publicis Groupe’s Starcom. WPP’s Mediacom is also on the roster. Both are believed to be participating in the review.
The company spent nearly $680 million on ads in the U.S. in 2013, according to Kantar. Global spending is estimated at more than $1.5 billion.
Mars issued this statement: “In 2015, we will be transitioning to a single global media planning agency and that agency will be selected by the end of 2014. This change brings our planning model in line with our existing global advertising agency structure, and will allow us to further focus media as a growth driver. With the constant change in the media landscape, this new agency will allow us to better collaborate across our global business to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and coordination in our media planning.”
Mars absorbed Wrigley's in 2008. A year later, the merged entity conducted its first consolidation review in the U.S., awarding what was then a $500 million assignment to Starcom sibling agency MediaVest. A year after that, however, MediaVest client Kraft acquired Mars competitor Cadbury. The result: Mars shifted is U.S. assignment to Starcom without a formal review.
A short time later, Starcom also won the client’s media assignment for China, and separately, its Southeast Asia account.
Mars is the second huge piece of business that Starcom and MediaCom have battled for recently. In October, MediaCom won A-B InBev’s U.S. media planning and buying account. In 2011, the brewer enlisted Starcom to assist it with its internal media planning and research capabilities for all the company’s U.S. beer brands across national, local and digital media. Buying had been handled in-house.