Fox Media Narrows Field

NEW YORK Fox Filmed Entertainment has narrowed its $1.1 billion global media review to three contenders, sources said.

They are: the incumbent, WPP Group’s MindShare; Publicis Groupe’s Zenith Optimedia; and Aegis Group’s media arm, where its Vizeum network has taken the lead on the pitch (sibling Carat already has film producer New Line as a client).

About $750 million of Fox’s overall annual ad outlay is spent in U.S. media.

Interpublic Group’s media operation was invited to pitch, but declined, citing Initiative’s recent win of the $200 million Lion’s Gate account, sources said.

It was unclear whether Omnicom Group, which also was invited to participate, made an effort to do so. The holding company’s interactive shop, Organic, works on the client’s domestic Internet media assignment. But sibling OMD handles Universal Studios’ media chores.

Fox launched the review last month to consolidate global media duties for the studio’s theatrical and home entertainment enterprises [Adweek Online, Aug. 22].

The review was confirmed by search consultancy Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., which is managing the process. Officials there couldn’t be reached to confirm the three finalists.

Sources said a new round of meetings is scheduled for early October, while a final decision is not expected until December.

WPP’s MindShare handles Fox’s national and Canadian cable, local television and radio buying. National U.S. broadcast buying and planning is handled in-house at Fox, and sources said the client would continue to handle those chores after the review is completed.

The review does not include chores handled by Allied, Fox’s national newspaper agency, according to SRI.

The account involves advertising for movies, home entertainment and programming from Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Atomic, Fox Animation and Twentieth Century Fox International.