Multinationals Rush to Global Planning

Media-Consumption Shift to Digital Prompts Worldwide View

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The planning race is on.

If you're a big blue-chip marketer, chances are that if you haven't already, you are preparing to shift media-agency relationships to ensure you're evaluating media strategies and plans not just on a regional basis but on a global one.

Last week, Kraft spin-off Mondelez International assigned global media-planning duties to both Aegis and Publicis Groupe 's MediaVest, a departure from its earlier regionally driven planning approach. The Mondelez move to a big global strategy follows a similar move by Unilever only a few months ago. After a lengthy pitch, the packaged-goods giant ultimately awarded global-planning duties to Omnicom Group's PHD.

Last week, Mondelez International assigned global media-planning duties to both Aegis and Publicis Groupe 's MediaVest, a departure from its earlier regionally driven planning approach.
Last week, Mondelez International assigned global media-planning duties to both Aegis and Publicis Groupe 's MediaVest, a departure from its earlier regionally driven planning approach.

Why now? As brands look for more consistency across regions and media platforms, they are dictating the wave of changes. Many agency executives say the planning rush is being further fueled by the globalization of brands brought about via partnerships with global digital players such as Google, Microsoft , YouTube and Facebook.

"All the digital players have transformed the media landscape and, therefore, we need to address that ," said Unilever Americas VP-Media Luis Di Como after the review. "That's why we need to have global media planning."

Other examples abound. High-end fashion brand Burberry has just begun a global media-planning and -buying pitch, as has confectioner Hershey. Automaker General Motors Co. consolidated all global media planning, as well as buying, with Aegis' Carat.

"There will be a shift," said Doug Ray, global president at Aegis-owned media agency Carat. "If YouTube can scale video content on a global basis, a lot of money will flow that way."

For now, TV networks are typically not as flexible globally. So a global-planning agency might produce TV or digital content through YouTube and look for distribution rights, market-by -market, on its own. While the global-planning lead is focused on the macro strategy, a client's local-media shop might handle implementational planning, which could involve monitoring GRP levels or planning an ad's run-time and duration on various media.

In addition to winning global-planning duties for Mondelez, Carat has also recently taken on Procter & Gamble Co. Olympic-planning assignments in regions such as Europe. The agency had already supported the marketer's Olympic campaign in North America.

B. Bonin Bough, VP-global media and consumer engagement at Mondelez, wrote in Ad Age in reference to the company's moves: "The core structure will allow us to refocus our communications planning not only across global brands, but also across markets." One example he pointed to was the impact of mobile-media consumption on shopper behavior, emphasizing that it's just one example of "how we need to better understand today's global consumer and how consumption habits, both media and food, change from place to place and moment to moment."

Seeing the potential for a new stream of business, media shops are making hires and creating systems to bolster their global-planning departments. For example, last fall, WPP-owned MEC hired Pele Cortizo-Burgess in the role of global-planning director.

PHD has invested in building an internal global-planning tool called Source, which projects the potential impact and outcome of a plan by analyzing brand and product category data, as well as paid, owned and earned variables.

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Jack Neff contributed to this report.

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