LG Shifts Bulk of Global Media Account to Havas from WPP

Mindshare North America -- Which Has Been on a Hot Streak -- Will Retain its Portion, Though

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After a media agency review, Seoul, Korea-based LG is keeping Mindshare in North America but moving the bulk of its international account to Havas Media, executives familiar with the matter say.

LG's decision to divide its global media account between the two ad holding companies comes more than five years after the electronics giant consolidated its entire $400 million account with WPP's Mindshare. It also comes during the U.S. Upfront negotiations in which media agencies and their clients commit millions of dollars to network and cable buys throughout the year.

LG, Mindshare and Havas didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The consolidation also comes as LB has reduced its measured media outlay. In 2012, LG Electronics spent $67.3 million on measured media in the U.S., and in 2011 it spent $71.5 million, according to Kantar Media. In 2011, its spending had decreased 22.5% from the previous year. Outside the U.S., its spending was also down 16% to $326.1 million.

Despite a 6% revenue decrease from 2011, operating profits increased significantly in 2012 to just over $1 billion from $342.06 million in full-year 2011, the company noted in its earnings report. As of January 2012, LG was the second-biggest phone manufacturer in the U.S. after Samsung.

While the shift to Havas is tough for Mindshare's global operation, it's another bit of positive news for Mindshare's U.S. arm. Domestically the shop has had a trail of wins, including TGI Friday's, Bacardi USA and Lionsgate.

Havas Media's global win comes on the heels of a number of leadership and structural changes at the Paris-based media agency network. Havas this January eliminated the MPG brand in favor of Havas Media, and consolidated the network's global media operations – Havas Media and Arena Media -- under a Havas Media Group umbrella. Havas Media CEO Alfonso Rodes moved into the role of group CEO, and Dominique Delport, CEO of Havas Media France, assumed the role of managing director of Havas Media and Havas Media Group. With the changes, MPG global CEO Maria Luisa Francoli Plaza left the firm. Lori Hiltz assumed the role of CEO in North America.

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