Michelin Picks MediaCom

NEW YORK Michelin North America has selected WPP Group’s MediaCom as its media planning and buying agency for all its product lines and brands, the client has confirmed.

The other two contenders in the pitch were WPP’s MindShare and Mediaedge:cia.

In the U.S., the largest piece of the assignment, Michelin, spent about $65 million on ads in 2006, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Overall, the company spends approximately $100 million annually in North American media, per sources.

MediaCom has been the client’s incumbent media shop in Canada for close to 20 years. In the U.S., however, a slew of full-service shops handle creative and media duties for individual brands. All of those shops will continue to handle creative chores on their brands while surrendering media duties to MediaCom, said client director of corporate image Dave Murtaugh.

Most of the U.S. spending supports the Michelin passenger tire and BF Goodrich brands, said Murtaugh. Campbell-Ewald had been the full-service agency for Michelin passenger tires and The Martin Agency handled full-service duties on Goodrich.

In Mexico, the media incumbent had been Strategic Media, a firm closely aligned with Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi, which retains creative chores in that country.

Murtaugh said that communications planning on the brands would be a “collaborative effort” by the creative shops and MediaCom.

The assignment will include car and light truck tires, commercial truck tires, and tires for the agricultural, earthmoving, aviation, motorcycle and bicycle segments. The assignment also covers Michelin Maps and Guides and TCI Tire Centers.

Michelin’s media review began in April with the objective of integrating and coordinating both strategic and tactical media activities across all product lines, while also leveraging the buying power of a major media agency.

“We are enthusiastic about our new relationship with MediaCom, and eager to apply the expertise and innovations they demonstrated during the search to our media planning and buying activities,” said Murtaugh.

Dene Callas, CEO of MediaCom, said, “Michelin truly understands and appreciates a strategic, creative approach to communications, and that’s what MediaCom does best.”