Campbell to Shift Overseas Media to MEC

NEW YORK Campbell Soup Co. plans to consolidate the bulk of its international media duties at Mediaedge:cia.

The shuffle delivers to WPP Group-owned MEC media buying and planning chores in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and Finland); the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, Indonesia and China); and Mexico, while extending its existing relationships with global MEC offices in Russia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Puerto Rico and Guatemala. The handoff from various Campbell roster shops is set for Aug. 1.

The company spends in excess of $1.2 billion annually on global marketing, but the combined budget of the work moving to MEC could not immediately be determined.

MEC’s New York headquarters has handled the food giant’s $330 million-plus media planning and buying in the U.S. “We’re looking to gain efficiencies and work strategically to get the biggest media bang for our dollar,” said Campbell representative John Faulkner.” He added, “We’ve had a very good experience with the work [MEC] has done with us since 1999.”

Losing business in the switch will be Aegis Group’s Carat (France); Publicis Groupe’s Starcom (Sweden); WPP Group’s ZenithOptimedia (Belgium); and Omnicom Group’s OMD in Australia, Finland and China.

OMD does, however, retain Campbell’s buying and planning in Canada, and ZenithOptimedia continues to perform those tasks in the U.K. and Ireland, though Campbell has begun an open-ended “strategic review” and there’s a chance more work will shift.

Faulkner cited Campbell’s earlier consolidation to two creative agencies (WPP’s Young & Rubicam and Omnicom’s BBDO) as the inspiration for this latest media move. “There was a mind-set that maybe we could consolidate media buying,” he said.