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Hyundai Kia Reviews Media Overseas

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NEW YORK Korean carmaker Hyundai Kia has launched a multi-market review of its media planning and buying assignments, the client has confirmed.

Ad spending in the markets being reviewed exceeds $300 million, according to sources.

The automaker stressed that the U.S. account handled by Interpublic Group's Initiative is not in play. The U.S. region went through a review just last year, with the business shifting from Aegis Group's Carat to Initiative.

"It's not a global review and it's not happening in this country," said Jim  Sanfilippo, evp and COO at the client's marketing arm Innocean, based in Irvine, Calif. "We're very pleased with the work Initiative is doing for us."

The company's annual global ad spend is estimated at $1 billion. Last year in the U.S., the carmaker spent close to $600 million in major measured media, according to Nielsen.

Among the territories in play are Europe, with an estimated media budget of $100 million, and the U.K., where the client spends around $50 million annually on ads. Parts of Asia and South America are also believed to be in play.

Sources said Omnicom Media Group, which handles Kia's European business, would defend. Zenith Optimedia handles the Hyundai U.K. account.