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Publicis Groupe Shops Snag Richemont

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NEW YORK Richemont, the Geneva, Switzerland-based luxury goods company, has awarded Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia and Starcom most of its global media planning and buying duties after a four-month review, the agencies confirmed.

ZenithOptimedia will handle the estimated $125 million European account as well as the North American region. U.S. spending by the client totaled $40 million in 2004 and $22 million for the first half of 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Starcom will service Richemont brands in Latin America and the Middle East.

All ZenithOptimedia and Starcom activities on the Richemont account will be coordinated by ZenithOptimedia in France, which led the international review for the Publicis agencies.

The new assignments take effect Jan. 1, 2006.

Incumbent agencies were WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia for Europe, Interpublic Group's Universal McCann for North and South America, and Starcom for the Middle East.

Omnicom Group's OMD was a contender and retains its Asia assignment, which was not part of the review.

Richemont's brands include Montblanc, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Alfred Dunhill, Lancel and Chloe.

For its fiscal year ended March 31, the company reported revenue of more than $4.5 billion.

Steve King, global CEO of ZenithOptimedia, said in a statement, "We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Richemont, on the leading luxury groups. Media is an area of huge opportunity and we look forward to working closely with Richemont brands to take full advantage of the rapidly changing environment."