Kraft Heinz is keeping its U.S. media business at Publicis Groupe, led by longtime agency partner Starcom.
Kraft Heinz and Starcom have worked together for 20 years. Kraft Heinz decided to explore opportunities for its global media planning and buying operations as its contract with Starcom was set to expire this year, a Kraft Heinz spokeswoman said in March, when news of the review first broke.
Publicis is keeping the Kraft Heinz business in the U.S., which accounts for about 85 percent of the more than $700 million global billings, per COMvergence data.
It was not immediately clear whether Kraft Heinz has yet awarded the international piece of the business, and representatives for the company could not be immediately reached for comment.
Publicis Groupe’s win includes U.S. media, data and analytics, and commerce, Tim Jones, the CEO of Publicis Media Americas, said in an internal memo reviewed by Ad Age.
Publicis is calling its winning model “Publicis 57,” a name that plays off of the Heinz 57 varieties.
“The fact that we achieved this positive outcome in the US, during one of the most challenging periods our industry has faced, in a very competitive pitch against three other holding companies, is further testament that the capabilities we have in place are the right ones for our business and our clients,” Jones said in the memo.
More than 200 people across Publicis contributed to the pitch, Jones wrote.
The review was conducted during the pandemic, when Kraft Heinz has been standing out thanks to packaged foods such as Heinz ketchup and Kraft macaroni & cheese, the kinds of staples that were brisk sellers early on as people began having more of their meals at home.
Kraft is the 64th largest U.S. advertiser according to the Ad Age Datacenter, with total U.S. ad spending of $782 million in 2019.