Agencies Share $140 Million Buying and Planning Duties

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A correction has been made in this story. See below for details.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- NBC Universal Television Group has spread its $140 million media buying and planning duties between independent media agency Horizon Media and Publicis Groupe’s Fallon, Minneapolis, according to executives familiar with the matter.

Fallon wasn't originally on the account review list but was added later.

The review included NBC Universal TV properties NBC, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC, SciFi Channel and USA Network.

Months-long review
The decision follows a months-long review handled in-house. Fallon takes on planning duties for both NBC and its various cable channels, as well as buying for print, interactive and outdoor media. Horizon retains buying for TV and radio for all NBC Universal TV properties, as well as local promotions.

According to an NBC Universal executive familiar with the review, Fallon wasn’t originally considered a front runner in the competition, but became one as the client’s priorities shifted more toward strategic, innovative planning ideas.

Neither Fallon nor Horizon would comment. NBC Universal did not return a call for comment.

Former incumbents
Prior to the review, duties were split among Horizon, which bought all media; MDC Partners’ Media Kitchen, part of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners; and Publicis' MediaVest. Media Kitchen handled planning for SciFi and USA Networks; MediaVest handled planning for the rest.

In addition to Horizon and Fallon, other agencies competing for the business included MediaVest, Media Kitchen, Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Deutsch, Los Angeles, and sibling Initiative.

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Abbey Klaassen and Matthew Creamer contributed to this report.

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CORRECTION: The original version of this story said that Fallon wasn’t originally included as a participant in the review. That was incorrect. In fact, Fallon was one of 22 agencies invited to participate in the RFP.

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