Carlsberg Group Chooses Initiative as Global Media AOR

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Initiative starts work on Carlsberg in January.
Initiative starts work on Carlsberg in January. Credit: Carlsberg

Carlsberg Group has chosen IPG Mediabrands media shop Initiative to handle its global media planning and buying following a competitive pitch.

This is Initiative's first global media win since it overhauled the business over the last year.

The Danish brewery group cited Initiative's "excellent planning and buying expertise, unique proprietary tools, digital capabilities, transparency and the quality of their teams."

It previously worked with Omnicom-owned OMD. A spokesman for Carlsberg says OMD has "been a great partner over the years."

The appointment will be effective January 2018. The account is believed to be more than $100 million globally, though Carlsberg would not comment on the size of the account. The company spent roughly $924 million on marketing expenses in 2016, according to financial reports. That figure includes a range of brand marketing and trade marketing activities beyond media spend.

After several years of few wins and staff turnover, Initiative made a number of changes, including hiring Global CEO Mat Baxter and U.S. CEO Amy Armstrong, appointing regional presidents in the U.S., and rethinking how it can help brands be cultural leaders.

It now has a cultural anthropologist on staff, and has done away with buying and planning departments in favor of "craft centers" focusing on client advice and management, strategy, communications design and partnerships.

The agency's other clients include Uber, Boeing and Merck.

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