Hasbro Reviews $150 Million Media Account

MediaCom Expected to Defend

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Toy manufacturer Hasbro is reaching out to media shops for its nearly $150 million media-planning and -buying account. WPP's MediaCom is the incumbent on the business.

Wayne Charness, senior VP at Hasbro, told Ad Age the company has asked "some" agencies, including MediaCom, to come in and present. "As our business has grown we want to take the chance to explore other agency opportunities," he said. In 2009 the company spent $148 million on U.S. measured media, according to Kantar Media.

He said he expects a decision to be made on the review by late January.

Executives with knowledge of the situation said MediaCom, which could not be reached for comment, is expected to defend the business.

Throughout 2010 MediaCom has repeatedly found itself in the position of defending an existing piece of business. Unfortunately for the shop, it hasn't been able to hold on to many of the accounts.

Over the past 12 months the agency has lost a number of high-profile accounts, including Diageo ($130 million), Darden's Red Lobster planning business ($119 million), Ethan Allen ($23 million), JetBlue ($10 million), Lifetime Entertainment ($40 million) and the American Egg Board ($13 million).

MediaCom is also currently defending the massive $1.4 billion GlaxoSmithKline U.S. media account, which is one of its largest pieces of business.

It did pick up the $95 million Traveler's Insurance and $100 million Revlon accounts earlier this year.

The Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro produces and markets a wide range of iconic board games, including Monopoly, Battleship, Connect 4, Candy Land, Yahtzee, Stratego and Trivial Pursuit, and toys such as Mr. Potato Head, My Little Pony, Rubik's Cube and Lazer Tag.

Hasbro, the world's second-largest toy company, meanwhile, is also a media owner with cable network the Hub, a joint venture with Discovery Communications.

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