Mindshare Wins Six Flags $55 Million Media Account

Doner Loses Business, but Is Still Contender in Creative Review

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Theme park operator Six Flags today said it has selected WPP Group’s MindShare to its handle media strategy and buying account, following a review.

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MindShare’s initial focus will be to develop an overall media strategy and then execute a plan to promote and celebrate the theme park operator’s 45th anniversary. Spending on the account is estimated at $55 million.

Big initiative
"It is a big initiative for the entire company,” a Six Flags spokeswoman said.

Independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., previously handled the business. Other agencies involved were not disclosed.

Late last year, Six Flags’ board ousted CEO Kieran Burke and replaced him with Mark Shapiro, a former ESPN programming executive. Mr. Shapiro told Advertising Age in December he planned to embark on a 100-day plan, which included a whirlwind tour of the company’s parks, where he’d meet with staff and assess the company’s structure, marketing plans and capital expenditures.

Also in December, three new directors joined Six Flags' board, including two with substantial entertainment and marketing experience: Harvey Weinstein, entertainment mogul and co-founder of The Weinstein Co., and Michael Kassan, a consultant, attorney and ex president-chief operating officer of media agency Initiative.

Other agency moves
Early last month, Six Flags signed up WPP’s OgilvyOne Worldwide to handle direct and interactive duties, and said it was doing so as part of a strategy to increase its focus on customers and transform consumers’ experience at its parks. At the same time, Six Flags said it was putting its creative account up for review. Its contract with the creative incumbent, also Doner, expires in June. Doner is defending the business.