21st Century Fox to Review Global Media Agency Business

Publicis' Zenith Is the Incumbent on Top-Spending Film Division

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'The Fault in Our Stars' was a hit for the film division.
'The Fault in Our Stars' was a hit for the film division.

Global media company 21st Century Fox is reviewing its worldwide media buying and planning business across its massive film, TV and home entertainment groups, the company said Monday evening.

The New York-based film and TV giant spent $767.48 million on U.S. measured media in 2014, according to Kantar Media. Globally, it's spending exceeds $1 billion, said a person familiar with the company.

"We are getting great service from all of our current agency partners so this review is not about performance or cost," said a spokeswoman. "The rules of consumer engagement in our business are shifting quickly and dramatically. After more than 10 years since our last company-wide global review, we are going through this process to ensure we have the right agency partners who are best equipped to work with us to reimagine the future of marketing for 21st Century Fox's leading brands."

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The film group, which accounts for the bulk of the media budget in the U.S. -- the group alone spent $526 million in domestic measured media in 2014 marketing films such as "Gone Girl" and "The Fault in Our Stars," among other big names -- awarded its North American media-buying and -planning account to Publicis Groupe's Zenith Media in early 2007. Last year, Fox consolidated its FX Networks account with the Publicis Groupe shop. Dentsu Aegis' Vizeum also supports the company's film division in international markets.

Agencies didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The review is expected to span traditional media planning and buying, as well as search, social and programmatic, according to someone familiar with the matter. Most major holding companies, including WPP, Interpublic Group of Cos, Publicis Groupe, Havas, Dentsu Aegis and Omnicom, are expected to receive the review documents.

Spearheading the review is a Fox trio: Tomas Jegeus, co-president worldwide marketing and distribution for 20th Century Fox; Randy Freer, president and COO of Fox Networks Group; and Mary Daily, president and CMO for 20th Century Fox home entertainment.

Owner News Corp spun off its publishing assets and created 21st Century Fox, a global media and entertainment company with interests in cable and broadcast TV and filmed entertainment, in June 2013. Among its holdings are filmed entertainment group 20th Century Fox, as well as Fox broadcasting and cable brands, including FX and Fox News.

Fox's review follows the flurry of reviews by other media networks and brands, including Al Jazeera, NBCU, ABC Family and Turner.

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