Reckitt Benckiser Consolidates Media Buying with Havas, Publicis Shops

$1.3B Account Includes Powerbrands Such as Lysol, Woolite, Calgon

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Reckitt Benckiser has consolidated its $1.3 billion global traditional and digital media account for its 17 Powerbrands, which include products such as Lysol, Woolite and Calgon, with Havas' and Publicis' media groups, the marketer said in a statement. Both had previously worked with the packaged goods giant. Shops from Omnicom and WPP also pitched the business.

Havas' MPG, has handled the media business in the U.S., while Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia managed the account, along with Omnicom Group's OMD, in other parts of the world.

According to executives with knowledge of the review ZenithOptimedia will be managing the business in the U.K., Northern Europe, Germany, parts of Asia and the U.S., which was previously handled by MPG.

The U.K.-based Reckitt increased its global ad spend 26% last year to a reported $1.3 billion, which included $476 million in the U.S., as measured by TNS Media Intelligence, which was up 18%.

Both ZenithOptimedia and MPG referred calls to the client. ZenithOptimedia recently won the BBC Worldwide's global media account, which has been estimated at nearly $50 million.

In a statement Reckitt said the consolidation will bring economies of scale and create more uniform media strategies and implementation across countries, "with the ultimate objective of strengthening [its] Powerbrands, equity management across the globe."

In the statement Rakesh Kapoor, exec VP-category development said: "Consumer media habits are evolving all the time and in the current economic conditions we need to think radically. Our new approach to media buying and planning introduces game-changing strategies in every aspect of how we communicate with our customers if we want to continue our track record of superior performance. We have chosen two global media partners that will bring us new consumer insights, better capabilities in technology and systems and superior skills in ensuring that we build better consumer engagement strategies and executions."

And while one executive with knowledge of the review said MPG managed to retain some of the business it previously had, which included all of Latin America, and won or retained parts of the business in Asia and Europe, the loss of the U.S. account dampens a winning streak that included the Danone U.S. business and Havas' win of a large chunk Hyundai-Kia's international media buying business.

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