Mars Buys World Via News Corp.

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In a pacesetting move, Mars Inc. and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. have put together a truly globe-spanning media buy that allows the secretive candy giant to significantly expand its already ambitious international operations.

Advertising Age has learned that the McLean, Va.-based candy marketer is close to signing off on a media buy involving all of Murdoch's far-flung holdings. The deal is expected to run into the tens of millions of dollars.

In addition, News Corp. is in discussions with Nike, among others, to create similar multimedia global deals. For years there has been much talk but little action about such large-scale global media buys.

The Mars deal was negotiated by Jean Paul de la Fuente, worldwide media services director at Zenith in London. Mr. de la Fuente worked closely with Mars while at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.

The deal is a coup for Zenith, emerging as a global media force and also exploring integration with Saatchi's fiercely independent U.S. agency media units.

Laurel Wentz contributed to this story.

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