UNIVERSAL MCCANN GETS $150 MILLION NESTLE ACCOUNT

Media Buying Business Is for PetCare Co.

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Nestle said today that it has chosen Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann to handle the $150 million media buying account for its Nestle Purina PetCare Co.

The review, which began in March, was for a consolidation of all of Nestle's media buying following its acqusition of Ralston Purina.

The review was a

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shootout between Universal McCann, which handled Nestle's media buying and planning, and Omnicom Group's PHD, which handled Ralston Purina, a media executive said. Ralston had been a longtime client of Advansers, a Chicago-based media shop that was recently merged and renamed PHD along with Creative Media, New York.

Universal McCann stood to lose $225 million in media business. Nestle had previously consolidated its $376 million media buying account at Universal.

In December, Nestle completed its acquisition of Ralston Purina. It then combined its Friskies brand with Ralston Purina's Pro Plan and Purina O.N.E. to form Nestle Purina PetCare, creating a pet care business with annual revenues of $6.3 billion worldwide and $3.7 billion in North America, making it one of the leading players in the category.

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