NESTLE CONSOLIDATES $500 MILLION U.S. MEDIA ACCOUNT

In Major Loss for IPG, Publicis' Zenith Optimedia Replaces Universal McCann

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Nestle has consolidated its estimated $500 million U.S. media planning and buying account with Publicis Groupe's Zenith Optimedia, the marketer said in a statement.
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The decision is effective immediately and does not affect any of Nestle's relationships with its advertising agencies or other communications partners, according to the statement.

The move follows by just over a month the Swiss-based food marketer's decision to consolidate its $1.5 billion global media planning and buying assignments with Zenith Optimedia and WPP Group's Group M.

Major blow to IPG
The decision is another major blow to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann, which handled much of the U.S. business and lost out in the global review. Last month, sibling Initiative Media lost a $650 million chunk of business in Unilever's Western European media review. Interpublic officials are currently considering a realignment of the company's media operations.

Nestle spent $470.5 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2003 and $297.5 million from January to July 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

The Nestle units involved in the decision are Nestle Brands Co., Nestle Prepared Foods Co., Nestle Purina PetCare Co., and Nestle Waters North America.

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