Coca-Cola Puts Media Into Agency Review

Incumbent Starcom Will Participate

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Coca-Cola Co. has put its U.S. media-buying and -planning business into review, Ad Age has learned.

A company spokeswoman confirmed the review and said incumbent Starcom Mediavest Group will participate along with three agencies that Coke works with globally: UM, MediaCom and Carat/Dentsu. The review is expected to conclude later this year after formal presentations in mid-July.

Coca-Cola spent more than $406 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media. Spending is expected to jump this year as the company implements a global cost-cutting program with some savings poured into media.

"We have a very productive and strong relationship with Starcom Mediavest Group that has served both companies very well for the last 11 years. Over this period, SMG has continually improved and strengthened its offering and remains a valued partner," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

She added: "As the media marketplace reshapes and reinvents itself, we frequently take the opportunity to formally review our media partners all around the world. Continued appraisal of our partners ensures we are both working with, and acting as, the best partners to create the most value at the right price."

The review comes as SMG deals with the recent loss of big accounts including Microsoft, U.S. planning for Anheuser-Busch InBev and global planning for Mars Inc.

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