Lionsgate Conducting $400 Million Media Consolidation Pitch

Move Follows Studio's Acquisition of Summit Entertainment

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Lionsgate has begun a media-agency consolidation review, Ad Age has learned.

The move follows the studio's acquisition of Summit Entertainment in January and serves as a sign of desire for more marketing alignment between the two studio brands, which have a combined budget of around $400 million.

A company spokesman said: "Based on the recent acquisition of Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate has engaged in a review of its current media-agency partnership. The scope of the studio's needs have expanded now that it is releasing filmed entertainment product under two labels."

He noted that the review process, which is "targeted and not an open assignment or call for proposals," involves incumbents Initiative and Mindshare, as well as independent Horizon.

Initiative , an Interpublic Group of Cos. shop, has been working with Lionsgate since 2006. WPP's Mindshare won the Summit business in 2007.

Initiative referred a request for comment to the client. Horizon and Mindshare did not immediately respond to a request for comment. For the incumbents pitching the business, it means an opportunity to pick up a wealth more business or be faced with losing a significant chunk.

In a year that 's been pretty quiet on the new-business front for media agencies, this is a sizable pitch. In 2011, Lionsgate spent $267.9 million on U.S. measured media, according to Kantar, while Summit spent $147.2 million.

An agency consolidation would likely create efficiencies and more collaboration for the joint group, but since the merger the brands have had their own agendas.

Earlier this year the Hollywood Reporter reported that both Lionsgate marketing lead Tim Palen and Summit marketing chief Nancy Kirkpatrick would stay on as marketing chiefs of the studios. As of now, they are both continuing in those roles.

Mr. Palen, who was responsible for successful marketing around the blockbuster "The Hunger Games," is expected to continue to support Lionsgate-branded films, including the additional films within the "Hunger Games" series. Ms. Kirkpatrick is known for the marketing around Summit's "Twilight" saga, which comes to an end after the final film, "New Dawn," opens in November.

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