MPG Lands $100M CBS Films Account

New Feature-Film Division Will Produce Up to Six Movies a Year

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NEW YORK ( -- MPG has taken the estimated $100 million media-planning and -buying account from the newly established CBS Films after a review. The Havas-owned agency will get to work immediately on the business, which will include traditional and online planning and buying for all of the films the company releases.

"As we look toward our first releases, our goal is to find innovative ways to reach movie audiences," Debbie Miller, CBS Films' exec VP-worldwide marketing, said in a statement. Commenting on why the company selected MPG, Ms. Miller said: "MPG demonstrated impressive creativity which extends beyond traditional media planning."

CBS Films is a new feature-film venture launched by CBS Corp. and marks the second significant win for MPG in 2009. Last month the agency won Virgin Mobile's media-planning and -buying business. Other notable recent wins for the agency include Carnival Cruise Lines, Jones Apparel Group and Swarovski.

CBS in November suddenly moved its $135 million planning-and-buying account, which includes promotions for the Showtime cable operation as well as the CBS broadcast network, to Omnicom Group's OMD from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative without a review. At the time, George Schweitzer, president-marketing at CBS, said the decision was made "because of Alan Cohen and his leadership team there," referring to OMD's new U.S. CEO, who worked on CBS while previously at Initiative, and some former Initiative executives, who also worked on CBS and whom Mr. Cohen took with him to OMD.

CBS Films will produce four to six mid-budget movies per year that will span all genres. The company said it is in preproduction on at least two films, including a Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser vehicle called "The Untitled Crowley Project" and a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez called "Plan B." "Plan B," the company's first release, is scheduled to hit theaters in January 2010.

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