Initiative Grabs Bigger Chunk of Kao Brands

Interpublic Shop Adds Print Buying, Overall Planning on $145 Million Account

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NEW YORK ( -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative has picked up additional media duties for Kao Brands, maker of Jergens, John Frieda and Ban, the agency confirmed.

Initiative, which handles broadcast buying on the estimated $145 million account, will now manage print buying and overall planning, duties previously managed by Media Kitchen.

Exec hired to run biz
The agency has tapped Melissa Gordon, who previously ran the GlaxoSmithKline planning business for Havas's MPG, to run the account.

The added duties are a coup for Initiative, which has been bolstering its planning capabilities under the direction of North American CEO Richard Beaven since his arrival in September 2006. Under Mr. Beaven, the agency has also successfully added planning duties on existing buying account Bayer.

Kao Brands' media consolidation will have no impact on its creative account, which is currently handled by Media Kitchen partner agency Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners.

A spokeswoman for Kao Brands could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Media Kitchen had no comment.
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