L'Oreal, Ikea shake up media buying

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[London] Two major European marketers have reshuffled their global media buying after lengthy reviews. L'Oreal Consumer Products gave ZenithOptimedia, already its U.S. agency after winning Maybelline earlier this year, the company's $1 billion media planning and buying business across Europe and is still reviewing Asia and the Middle East. Ikea has split its estimated $175 million global media planning and buying between WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia and MediaCom after a review that included OMD, Aegis Group's Vizeum, ZenithOptimedia and Starcom MediaVest.

The Ikea assignment will be split roughly 50/50 between the two WPP agencies. MEC will handle most of Asia, North America and Latin America, while MediaCom's chief gains are in Europe and Australia. Ikea said in a statement that both agencies "have many strengths such as media planning, media buying skills, Ikea experience and also the possibility to act as one agency."

MediaCom already handled Germany, Ikea's largest market, the U.K. and Denmark, and adds France, Spain, Austria, Norway, Portugal and Australia. MEC already had Japan, Belgium, Hungary, Italy and Central and Eastern Europe. Ikea previously picked media agencies locally, such as Horizon in the U.S. and Carat in Canada. Creative continues to be handled locally by handpicked hotshops.

L'Oreal's upcoming move in October to ZenithOptimedia in Europe is a blow to incumbent Universal McCann, although the agency keeps some luxury brands like Lancome and Vichy. ZenithOptimedia's prize covers the vast majority of L'Oreal's European spending, including its three mass-market brands: L'Oreal Paris, Garnier and Maybelline. Now, ZenithOptimedia, Universal and MindShare are battling it out country-by-country in Asia and the Middle East. Universal McCann recently won Saudi Arabia from ZenithOptimedia, and MindShare kept Malaysia after pitching against ZenithOptimedia.

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