Incumbent Grey Global's MediaCom Loses Print Buying Work

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NEW YORK ( -- WPP Group's Mediaedge:CIA has won Masterfoods USA's $50 million U.S. print buying business, a spokesman at the marketer said.

Grey Global Group's MediaCom lost the account. MediaCom will continue to handle all of the marketers' U.S. out-of-home media.

Mediaedge:CIA was up against a group of shops that have relationships with the marketer, including Omnicom Group's PHD, whose sibling BBDO Worldwide handles much of Masterfood's creative, and Publicis Groupe and Cordiant Communications Group's Zenith Media, which handles their sports buys.

Bcom3 Group's Starcom,

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also in the mix, was considered the favorite in the race because of its relationship to MediaVest. (The two media operations form Starcom MediaVest Group, Bcom3's media holding division.) MediaVest handles all of Masterfoods' broadcast buying business.

According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Mars spent $53 million on print advertising in 2001.

Ken Rogers, corporate vice president of global marketing for Masterfoods' parent, Mars, told that the media buying review was not launched as part of any master plan to shake up or realign buying around the globe. "[It's] as simple as when contracts come up, or we think we might come up with a different approach," he said.

Masterfoods' products include chocolate brands such as M&M's and Snickers, candy brands including Starburst and Skittles, pet foods including Whiskas and Pedigree, and food brands such as Uncle Ben's.

The review follows a shift by Masterfoods of $48 million in creative accounts from Bcom3's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles for brands including Uncle Ben's and Whiskas to Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. BBDO, New York, picked up Skittles.

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