Worth an estimated $150 million, it is considered the largest single media account in Asia outside Japan. The loss of such a major piece of business is a blow to incumbent Zenith Media, Hong Kong.
Starcom and MediaVest were invited to pitch separately in August when the packaged goods giant announced there would be a review in December. But Leo Burnett and D'Arcy presented together following their fall announcement to become part of the same global holding company with Dentsu.
P&G's decision to examine its China media business came as no surprise given that this was the first review since Saatchi & Saatchi was appointed agency-of-record eight years ago. The media account later moved to ZenithMedia, which is 100%-owned by Saatchi & Saatchi in China.
China's media environment has changed dramatically in the past decade and Saatchi is no longer the only P&G roster agency with a big operation in that market, as was the case eight years ago.
Along with the winners and Zenith, the pitch also included Grey Advertising's MediaCom and one non-roster agency, Omnicom Group of Cos.'s Optimum Media Direction.
Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.