Australian retail empire puts account in review

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MELBOURNE -- Coles Myer Ltd, the national retail store giant and one of Australia's largest buyers of media, has given notice it will review its $75m master media business in September, saying it will choose an agency before the 1998 television rate negotiations begin in late October.

The business was won by George Patterson Bates Melbourne in 1995 but is now handled by Zenith Media Melbourne, owned by Patterson's parent company, Cordiant.

Zenith handles all media buying for Patterson, Saatchi & Saatchi and The Campaign Palace, all Cordiant controlled agencies in Australia.

Coles Myer declined to give details of the review but agencies to pitch are believed to include DDB, Mitchell & Partners, Clemenger BBDO's buying group Optimum Media Direction, J Walter Thompson, which handles Coles Supermarkets, plus incumbent Zenith.

The master media account for Coles Myer includes rate negotiations and buying for the national chains of Myer Grace Bros, Coles, Kmart, Katies, World 4 Kids, Red Rooster, Fosseys, Officeworks, Target, Liquorland and Bi-Lo.

Each business has its own creative agency which usually handles media planning but media buying and rate negotiations are pooled to ensure buying efficiencies.

Copyright August 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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