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Mondelez Gives MediaVest, Aegis More Media Work

Move Means Horizon Will Be Cut From Roster

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Candy and snacks giant Mondelez International will consolidate U.S. media-planning and -buying duties with Publicis Groupe 's MediaVest, while giving Aegis Group more international strategic responsibilities.

MediaVest has long handled planning and buying for snack brands -- which include Ritz, Oreo, and Wheat Thins -- as well as TV and print buying for gum and candy brands, including Trident and Stride. The shop will now assume planning for the gum and candy brands, as well as digital buying. That work had previously been with Horizon Media, which is being cut from the Mondelez roster.

In an interview with Ad Age , B. Bonin Bough, VP of global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez, said Horizon "has been an amazing partner and we are very grateful for what they've done for the gum and candy category for us within the U.S." He added: "It was just a decision from the U.S. region to consolidate that within MediaVest."

SOURCE: Ad Age Data Center/Kantar Media
SOURCE: Ad Age Data Center/Kantar Media

The Mondelez brands spent nearly $245 million on measured media in 2011 in the U.S., according to Kantar Media.

The change comes after a lengthy global review that was launched late last year as the marketer began operations as a standalone company after Kraft Foods split in two on Oct. 1. The other company is Kraft Foods Group, which markets North American grocery brands such as Oscar Mayer and Planters. Its media duties are handled by MediaVest sibling agency Starcom.

As part its review, Mondelez has decided to add a new strategic function called "global communications planning" that will focus on understanding the "consumer journey" and the "media touchpoints that can connect with that consumer," Mr. Bough said. Essentially that function is one strategic level above the more tactical media-planning and -buying duties.

Aegis -- which has worked on Mondelez brands across the globe -- will pick up the new global communications duties for chocolate and coffee brands. MediaVest, meanwhile, will add these same duties for gum, candy, cookies and biscuits. While the marketer has pared down its roster, it hasn't totally cut out other smaller global shops. Mondelez "will continue working with a number of partners locally and regionally, beyond Aegis and MediaVest," the company said.

The impetus for the changes are a desire on behalf of Mondelez to have its agencies help figuring out how to connect with consumers at a time when their media-consumption habits have changed drastically, Mr. Bough said.

"There has been a proliferation of media platforms," he said. "Whether it's the fact that you sit and watch TV with a third screen in front of you [or] whether it's the fact that you stand in [store] aisle with a phone in front of you," he said. Also, "commuting behaviors have change because instead of watching the morning news before you leave, all of that news comes to you on a mobile device." He added: "How do we engage with them across those various touchpoints?"

Mondelez is concentrating on developing markets such as China, Russia and Brazil, where consumption of snack and candy brands is growing as more consumers enter the middle class and engage in "on-the-go" eating. As it looks abroad for more growth, Mondelez is zeroing in on mobile media in all markets in hopes of driving impulse purchases, while connecting more effectively with younger consumers.

In the U.S., for instance, the company recently picked nine tech startups to craft new applications aimed at promoting Mondelez brands while consumers shop, drive and surf social media while watching TV. As part of that strategy, Mondelez plans to invest 10% of media in mobile channels.

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Contributing: Alexandra Bruell

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