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Incumbents Rule in Media Pitches for Mercedes and Brand USA

But not so in CVS' creative search

Both Mercedes-Benz and Brand USA stayed put. National Mall photo: Getty Images

For once, it was a good week for incumbents in account reviews—at least among media agencies.

PHD, the media agency for Mercedes-Benz USA since 1999, retained its assignment, with annual media spending of about $320 million. The other finalists could not be ascertained. Accenture helped manage the search.

Likewise, MediaCom has successfully defended media responsibilities on Brand USA, which spends about $30 million in media each year. Sources identified the other contenders as MMGY in Kansas City, Mo. and MBuy in Chicago.

Brand USA is a public-private partnership that aims to bring more foreign tourists to the U.S. The organization launched in 2010 and first hired MediaCom in 2011.

In a statement, Roberta Hatchett, Brand USA's director of advertising and media, said that in the pitch MediaCom "easily demonstrated the most successful combination of global reach, process and strategy."

And while incumbents ruled in these two reviews, another bowed out a third.

Arnold, the lead creative agency for CVS since 2010, exited a pitch for that business, a week before final presentations. The split left a still long list of four contenders: BBDO, Grey, Havas Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather and Lowe Campbell Ewald. The retailer spends about $115 million in media annually.

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