Mindshare Wins Consolidated Lionsgate Account

Consolidation Likely to Create Efficiencies, Collaboration Between Studio and Summit, a Recent Acquisition

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WPP's Mindshare has won the consolidated Lionsgate-Summit media-buying and -planning business.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger said in a statement: "By combining our media related services in one company, Lionsgate will immediately see significant savings, which will impact the studio's bottom line, achieve economies of scale that can be leveraged across our feature film entities and allow us additional resources to market and distribute our films in North America."

The move comes on the heels of a lengthy review following Lionsgate's acquisition of Summit Entertainment, a Mindshare client, last January. It also marks tighter alignment between the two studio brands, which had a combined budget of around $400 million in 2011.

In 2011, the last full year of spending data by Kantar Media, Lionsgate spent $267.9 million on U.S. measured media, while Summit spent $147.2 million.

Lionsgate and Mindshare didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

During the review last September, a company spokesman said that it had invited incumbents Initiative and Mindshare, as well as independent Horizon, to participate. Initiative, an Interpublic Group of Cos. shop, had been working with Lionsgate since 2006. WPP's Mindshare won the Summit business in 2007.

Initiative referred calls to the client.

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

Early last 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. 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 came to an end after the final film, "New Dawn," last November.

For Mindshare, it's a welcome win after losing its Sprint and Farmers Insurance business to Publicis Groupe shops in 2012. The WPP media shop's LG and Abbott accounts are in review.

The disruption for Lionsgate incumbent Initiative comes amid a leadership shuffle at parent company IPG Mediabrands. As part of a reorganization, the company promoted Jim Elms to global CEO of Initiative and Peter Mears to North American president of the agency.

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