MediaCom snaps up Masterfoods' £120m

MediaCom snaps up Masterfoods' £120m

Allan: contract is "a strong signal from the marketing community"

MediaCom this week won what was claimed to be the biggest single planning task awarded to a UK agency, as it walked away with the £120m communications account for Masterfoods.

The contract covers the company's entire confectionery, petfoods and main meals empire, including dozens of brands such as Mars, Pedigree Chum and Uncle  Ben's.

It is also the first time an advertiser has appointed a single agency to handle its entire integrated communications strategy.

The brief includes creative planning, direct marketing, point of purchase, PR, sales and promotions tasks.

Mediacom chief executive Stephen Allan said: "This signifies a step change in the industry. It's a strong signal from the marketing community and will be the forerunner for many more pitches of this kind."

The business was won by MediaCom following a competitive pitch against PHD, Zenith Optimedia Group, Starcom MediaVest Group and Media Planning Group.

The move to centralize the planning for all consumer communications - including above and below-the-line activity - is part of a Europe-wide initiative by Masterfoods to increase efficiency and effectiveness of its campaign activity.

It follows the merging of Mars' food, confectionery and petfood divisions into one business last December.

This appointment does not affect Masterfoods' relationship with Zenith Media, which handles the centralized media buying business.

Masterfoods regional media manager, Western Europe, Paul Smith said: "The standard of all the candidates was tremendously high and it was a difficult choice, particularly as we had long-standing relationships with some of the agencies.

"MediaCom demonstrated an excellent understanding of our business and our target audiences, having a sound, committed team and showing dedication to optimizing our consumer communications strategies."

Previously, MediaCom shared the UK planning roster with MediaVest and PHD.

For the agency, the win is the latest in a string of major account wins.

In the past six months, MediaCom has picked up the Wrigley planning and buying account, AMP's planning and buying task and the Egg: task for planning and buying, each worth £20m.

The agency's billings won so far this year stand at nearly £50m - second only to MindShare in terms of new business .

Allan said: "This is excellent news and we're looking forward to working with Masterfoods.

"This brings down walls between creative and media agencies and MediaCom will be looking to collaborate
further.

"Clients are looking for joined- up thinking, total solutions and developing strategic platforms with a consistent message."

Allan said MediaCom's broadening of its ideas "beyond traditional media thinking" had been behind its recent series of successes.

Masterfoods regional media manager, western Europe, Paul Smith, praised the candidates in the pitch, which he said had resulted in a difficult choice.

He added: "MediaCom won through by demonstrating
an excellent understanding of our business and our target audiences, having a sound and committed team and
showing absolute dedication to optimizing our consumer communication strategies."

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