Xerox reviews $130 mil in media

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Xerox Corp. is conducting a media review on its $130 million global ad account.

Worldwide reviews of media buying are still fairly rare. But as marketers and agencies become global players, the logistics involved in such reviews are more manageable.

Nancy Wiese, director of worldwide marketing communications at Xerox, is the point person for the review. Young & Rubicam's Media Edge, New York, is the incumbent on the U.S. business and is in the review, along with undisclosed others.

CREATIVE NOT PART OF REVIEW

Y&R Advertising, New York, handles creative in the U.S. for Xerox, and this business is not up for review.

Ms. Wiese declined comment on the review. An insider said the underlying strategy is to make sure Xerox is leveraging its market position to the fullest and is getting the most effective media buys and the best pricing.

Xerox is telling review participants that it could spend up to $80 million in the U.S., $40 million in Europe and $10 million in Latin America, according to a company insider.

In an extensive request for information and a request for proposal, Xerox has asked shops if they handle any business for about 35 companies, including Apple Computer, IBM Corp., Konica and Toshiba, the insider said.

Depending on what the product is, and in what country, an affirmative answer is not necessarily disqualifying, the executive added.

Besides the usual questions about the candidates' qualifications, Xerox is said to be asking for case histories to illustrate various capabilities, including effectiveness of global account management.

MEDIA SELLER BENEFITS

Interestingly, Xerox wants to know if the candidates operate exclusively on a full-disclosure basis and if candidates receive financial or other benefit from media sellers.

Interpublic Group of Cos.' Western Initiative Media Worldwide is a global media shop known for handling a number of U.S. accounts on a non-disclosed basis. In other words, they charge a fee for media buys, not disclosing Western's actual costs.

With so much of its advertising being business-to-business, Xerox has asked candidates for comparisons to other business-to-business accounts they have serviced.

Another question, the insider said, is whether the shops work with other clients that use one agency for media and a different agency--or agencies--for creative.

Xerox provided sample media schedules--both TV and print--in various countries, asking the candidates to include fees and commissions, the executive explained.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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