Plus will house executives from Group M's MEC -- which was the incumbent shop on
the media business -- and sister agency Mindshare, as well as executives from
Ogilvy and AKQA, according to executives familiar with
This isn't the first time WPP has gone into a pitch with a
dedicated team strategy – a move which has picked up steam
over the past few years. Perhaps the most well known and successful
of the bunch is WPP's Team Detroit for Ford. WPP has emulated that
concept for other marketers, resulting in dedicated groups such as
Team Mazda, Team Lincoln and teams for MillerCoors and Bank of
MEC has worked with Chanel for more than a dozen years. Blandine
Pillot Velin, the global media and brand research director for
Chanel, according to her LinkedIn profile, is a vet of the WPP
media shop. She left her role of MEC Directrice Generale (that
translates to managing director) in 2008 to join Chanel. Prior to
moving in-house, she had spent 14 years at MEC.
Group and Publicis Groupe's Starcom Mediavest Group also participated in
the review, according to industry executives. Agency
representatives either could not be reached for comment or referred
calls to the client.
Chanel spent $139 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2012,
with magazines accounting for $78.3 million. In 2011, it spent $130
million on total U.S. measured media.
While print assumed a huge chunk of Chanel's media budget last
year, the company also took its chances on TV with its first TV ad
starring a man. It was a strange campaign for Chanel No. 5 perfume,
starring Brad Pitt, which made its debut to harsh reviews late last
Chanel is owned by the Wertheimer brothers whose grandfather had
close ties to the late founder and designer Coco Chanel. Ms. Chanel
was known for being one of the first designers to introduce
comfortable, simple and professional sportswear for women. Fashion
designer Karl Lagerfeld is the current creative director and head
designer for the century-old Chanel brand.