Kraft Moves Media Buying for Cadbury to Publicis

Incumbent Horizon Keeps Planning Duties on $120 Million Account

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Kraft has consolidated media-buying duties on the $120 million portfolio of Cadbury brands -- previously at independent Horizon Media -- at Publicis Groupe. Media-planning duties remain at Horizon, the marketer said.

The moves, which come in the wake of Kraft's $19 billion acquisition of Cadbury, mean that the food and confection conglomerate has consolidated a whopping $745 million in total media-buying billings at Publicis-owned agencies MediaVest, Digitas and SMG. Earlier this year, Publicis shops came together to create a special unit to service Kraft's media account, which sits at MediaVest and is dubbed the "One Team."

The loss of buying duties is a setback for Horizon, though it could be offset by its recent win of the $70 million Weight Watchers planning and buying account. Publicis agencies did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but Bill Koenigsberg, president-CEO of Horizon Media, took the changes in stride, telling Ad Age: "We look forward to getting to know the Kraft people. "

According to Kantar Media, Cadbury spent $120 million in U.S. measured media during 2009. Kraft spent $625 million in the U.S. during the same period.

"Since the acquisition of Cadbury earlier this year, we have been reviewing our go-to-market approach in many areas, including media buying," Kraft spokeswoman Valerie Moens said in a statement. "As a result, we have decided to consolidate the media buying activity for the combined company with MediaVest/Digitas/SMG."

Cadbury's pre-merger media agency, Horizon, will stay on with media-planning business for Cadbury gum and confectionery brands. "We welcome them to our agency roster," Ms. Moens said.

The move appears to be the first major roster change that affects Cadbury's ad relationships since Kraft closed on the acquisition in February. Overall, Ad Age has estimated that the combined company will spend $1.5 billion on marketing in the U.S.

MediaVest is building an impressive track record with consolidation reviews. Last year, MediaVest emerged victorious in Mars' $500 million consolidation review following its acquisition of Wrigley. Last February, Comcast also consolidated its nearly $500 million planning and buying account with MediaVest. More recently, the shop won buying duties for Turner Broadcasting.

"We are convinced that this new structure will create a greater scale and efficiency for Kraft Foods," Ms. Moens said. Kraft's creative agency roster spans the industry and includes Dentsu-backed McgarryBowen, Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB, Omnicom's Media Arts, WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, MDC Partners' Crispin and Havas' Euro. WPP's JWT, New York, has the bulk of Cadbury's U.S. creative business.

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