Confectioner marketing giant Mars has awarded WPP’s MediaCom its global media planning assignment after a consolidation review, the company has confirmed.
Much of the business (including the U.S.) has been handled by Publicis Group’s Starcom. MediaCom was also on the roster and the two shops were believed to be the finalists 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, Mars, Incorporated will be transitioning to a single global media planning agency, Mediacom. Mediacom was selected in a closed agency review. This move was not a reflection of the in-market performance of our existing media planning partners. With the constant change in the media landscape, this model will allow us to better collaborate across our global business to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and coordination in our media planning. This change brings our planning model in line with our existing global creative agency structure, and will allow us to further focus media as a growth driver. We are excited about the opportunities for collaboration on the growth agenda of our brands between Mars, Mediacom, [and creative agencies] BBDO and DDB.
Mars noted that buying assignments are not effected by the just completed review. "We will not be changing our assignments on media buying and Starcom remains a key strategic partner in the critical area of media buying," the company said.
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.
For MediaCom it’s the second huge piece of business the agency has taken from Starcom in recent months. 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.