Heinz Taps IPG and Omnicom Shops for Global Media

Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital Agreed to buy H.J.Heinz Co. Last February

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H.J. Heinz Co. has selected Interpublic Group's UM to support media buying and planning in the U.S. and Canada and Omnicom Media Group to handle its larger international business.

For Omnicom Media Group, the media agency network overseeing PHD and OMD, it's a small consolation after OMD's recent Vodafone loss to WPP's MEC.

The frozen and packaged food giant has worked with Cramer-Krasselt in the U.S. and a handful of shops abroad, including Omnicom in Russia, IPG in India and Dentsu's Aegis in some other markets. Cramer-Krasselt also supports creative for Heinz in the U.S.

"Heinz is pleased to announce its partnership with global ad agencies, Omnicom and Interpublic Group (IPG), effective July 1," the company said in a statement. "Omnicom has been awarded the vast majority of our global media business and will act as our key media agency moving forward, with IPG serving as the primary agency for our North American business. This decision was made after a comprehensive six month review process, in which our 20 global media agencies were simplified to two in order to better leverage our media buying and planning. As a result, we look forward to working with Omnicom and IPG to more efficiently leverage the scope and scale of the global Heinz brand."

Aegis and WPP's Mediacom were also pitching for the business in the lengthy review. Cramer-Krasselt was not involved in the pitch, an agency spokeswoman said. Other agencies mentioned either declined to comment or couldn't immediately be reached.

Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital agreed to buy H.J.Heinz Co. in February 2013 for about $23 billion.

Heinz spends over $200 million abroad, according to people familiar with the matter.

It spent $43.5 million on measured U.S. media in 2013, according to Kantar Media. That's down from the $50 million it spent in 2012, but 2014 might be a different story. Heinz, which is known as a frugal advertiser, poured millions of dollars into a Super Bowl spot for its namesake ketchup. The 30-second spot from Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, was only the second Super Bowl ad in the brand's history, the last one being 16 years ago.

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