The global incumbent, WPP's MindShare, defended the account. Since domestic U.S. business was not part of the pitch, MindShare North America retains those buying responsibilities for advertisements targeted at children, the executive said. Another agency, MediaVest LA continues to handle domestic media planning for Mattel.
TNS Media Intelligence put spending for Mattel's domestic measured media at about $200 million in 2006.
The switch in media agencies comes after a tumultuous few months for Mattel. The El Segundo, Calif.-based toymaker has announced a series of massive recalls of toys like Barbie and Polly Pocket after they were found to contain hazardous substances, including lead paint.
A spokeswoman for Mattel could not be reached for comment at press time.