Media Account Volatility Continues To Ebb, MediaVest Wins Masterfoods

Despite a large, high profile media services account shift - Sara Lee's $200 million consolidation at Starcom - media account turnover continued to ebb coming into the first month of 2004. Only $390 million in aggregate billings changed agencies during the month, down from $499 million in January 2003, and from $2 billion in January 2000, according to estimates released Monday by media auditing firm Media Analysis Plus.

While January represents a continuing stabilization of media account turnover - which had been extremely volatile in 2002, but softened in 2003 - February is getting off to a big start. Mars' Masterfoods unit Monday consolidated its $300 million media services account at MediaVest, a unit of Starcom MediaVest Group, following one of the most hotly contested media account pitches of the past year. Carat, MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia and OMD were incumbent media shops.

Despite two high profile media account shifts early in the year, Jim Surmanek, president-CEO of MAP, described 2004 as a "tepid start."



"January's number would have been a whole lot smaller had it not been for the $200 million Sara Lee account that switched agencies just last week," he noted.

January Media Account Shifts

Advertiser Loser Winner Billings
AOL Doner Direct Digitas $60 mil
Caress* BBDO JWT $25 mil
Circuit City** New Bromley $15 mil
Florida SUV Safety New Bartle Bogle $30 mil
Sara Lee Assorted Starcom $200 mil
Skittle (Mars) BBDO TBWA/Chiat/Day $25 mil
Tostitos (Frito-Lay) BBDO GSD&M $25 mil
Wawa Stores Mayo Seitz Richards Group $10 mil

Total January 2004 $390 mil
Total January 2003 $499 mil
Total January 2002 $2,000 mil

Source: January 2004 MAP Barometer, Media Analysis Plus. *Unilever. **Hispanic media only.
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