Maxus North America, a unit of WPP's GroupM, has been awarded media planning and buying duties for bakery cafe chain Panera Bread after a review, the client has confirmed.
Panera spent almost $15 million on measured media last year and $9 million through the first seven months of 2009, per Nielsen.
The incumbent was Mullen's MediaHub, which participated in the review. The other contenders were Universal McCann, Empower MediaMarketing and Harmelin Media.
The creative portion of the account, which was not up for review, is handled by Mullen.
"We selected Maxus because of the depth of their full-service capabilities," said Rick Vanzura, client evp, co-COO of Panera, in a statement. "We liked the buying leverage that their GroupM connection offers us, complemented by the planning and analytical expertise Maxus brings to Panera."
Added Maxus COO Carla Loffredo: "Panera has already established itself as a fast-growing leader in its category, and we're excited about partnering with them to achieve their future goals."
The assignment is effective immediately and will be handled out of the agency's New York office. Initial activity will focus on local broadcast media. The client owns and franchise 1,276 cafes across the U.S. and Canada.
Nielsen Business Media