$150 Million Account Was With Palisades Media Group

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax Film Corp. has moved its $150 million media business to Zenith Media from Palisades Media Group without a review.

Palisades, located in Santa Monica, Calif.,  had the account since 1996.

Economies of scale
Miramax Film executives said, "We are taking advantage of the economies of scale" with larger Zenith, which is part of the agency holding company Publicis Groupe. Zenith had handled some international projects for Miramax. Zenith executives in New york would not comment.

Earlier this year Zenith had done some "test" media work for Miramax, helping to plan and buy media for Miramax's Oscar marketing season -- specifically for its two big movies, Chicago and Gangs of New York. Palisades also did Oscar media marketing work. The studio garnered 40 Oscar nominations and won for best picture for Chicago.

No layoffs
Roger Schnaffer, president of Palisades, said there would be no layoffs. Palisades also handles theatrical and home video media work for Artisan Entertainment, Fox Searchlight, Paramount Classics and Lions Gate. Its two biggest accounts are video game maker Electronic Arts ($65 million a year in billings) and phone service Virgin Mobile ($50 milliion in annual billings).

The account is Zenith Media's first for a movie studio since it was known as Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, when it had the MGM Distribution Co. account in the late 1990s.

Agency rumors have swirled around Miramax since last year when Publicis' Starcom Media Group took over the $600 million Walt Disney media account from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media, Los Angeles.

Searching for marketing chief
Miramax has been struggling to find a marketing chief for more than a year. In that time a number of senior marketing executives have left the company, including its most senior marketing executive, Mark Gill, who left to become a full-time film producer.

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