Visa Keeps EU Media at MEC

NEW YORK WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia has retained Visa’s media chores in the European Union after a review, per sources. The other finalist was Omnicom Group’s OMD. Visa’s estimated annual EU ad spending is $175 million.

The award was the final phase of an estimated $650 million global media review that began last year.

Agency and client officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The European assignment comes about three months after the client opted to keep OMD for its U.S. media assignment, also in a shootout with MEC. At the same time, OMD retained Asia-Pacific, Chinese and Indian duties and added most of the rest of Visa’s non-European media assignments, including Latin America (previously handled by Publicis Groupe’s Starcom).

Client spending in the U.S. totaled more than $300 million in 2007, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

MEC has handled the client’s European media and sponsorship assignments and is handling Visa’s 2008 Summer Olympics marketing-related duties.

In August, when Visa confirmed the review, it said the process was designed to consolidate global media planning and buying chores at a single shop or holding company. Why the client ultimately settled on two shops was not immediately known.