BlackRock Names Mindshare to Take Over Media Account

Agency Will Oversee the Business in the U.S., Europe and Latin America

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Blackrock has named WPP's Mindshare its new media agency following a review that began this spring.

The business had been handled by MEC, which at least means the change keeps BlackRock's account in the same corporate family: Mindshare and MEC are siblings in GroupM, the WPP media agency network that also houses Maxus and MediaCom.

MEC also holds onto the account in Canada and Asia. Mindshare takes over the business in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

The GroupM shops competed during the review with finalists Dentsu Aegis' Carat and Omnicom's PHD.

Blackrock declined to comment. Agencies involved did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jim Badenhausen, global head of corporate communications and managing director at BlackRock, recently also assumed interim marketing responsibilities from Anne Ackerley who had overseen marketing for various departments, including the firm's retail businesses. Ms. Ackerly was promoted to lead the company's Defined Contribution business in the U.S. and Canada.

He and Linda Robinson, who oversees global marketing and communications at BlackRock, both joined in 2011 from WPP D.C. crisis shop RLM.

Blackrock spent $67 million in U.S. measured media in 2013, up 9.7% from $61 million in 2012, according to Kantar Media.

Overall marketing and promotional expenses have also been increasing, according to the company's 10-K. In 2013, Blackrock spent $409 million on marketing and promotions, up from $384 million in 2012 and $315 million in 2011. The company attributed the spike in 2012 to a brand campaign beginning that year with the theme "Investing for a New World."

It was the first time the fund manager had pursued a global multimedia campaign, the Financial Times reported at the time.

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