Publicis Groupe siblings MediaVest and Digitas are combining their Kraft Foods teams to form a single dedicated organization to service the client's global media account.
The new unit, called Kraft Foods One Team, will be housed at MediaVest but will be overseen by veteran Digitas evp Susan Canavari, who will report to MediaVest CEO Bill Tucker in her new role. She will continue to report to Tony Weisman, president of Digitas in Chicago, in relation to her ongoing Digitas duties.
The two shops are combining their efforts to provide a more integrated, digitally centric operation for the client that delivers "cross-channel activation and scale, as well as content solutions, analytics and innovation," the agencies said.
The merged operation will be based in New York.
Kraft spent $720 million in measured media in the U.S. alone in 2008, and $600 million during the first 11 months of 2009, according to Nielsen. In its 2008 annual report, the company listed all ad expenses in excess of $1.6 billion.
Mark Stewart, vp, global media services at Kraft Foods, endorsed the shift. "By moving strategic thinking and capabilities into one core team," Stewart said, the operation will "take an integrated approach to delivering world-class marketing for our business. Digital media will automatically be incorporated into everything we do, so we'll be able to manage and leverage our media investment in a more flexible way."
Stewart, a former senior media agency executive who worked at both Universal McCann and OMD, also said that Canavari's "leadership, business, digital and innovation experience, as well as her knowledge of Kraft Foods, give her a unique skill set to create a new servicing approach and model that will strengthen our brands communications programs."
Canavari originally joined Digitas in 1988 and after a two-year stint at WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, rejoined the agency in 2007 as evp to lead the Kraft business and additional key accounts. She's also credited with driving new business efforts at the shop. In addition, Canavari helped establish Digitas' presence in the U.K.
At Ogilvy, Canavari served as senior partner, worldwide client services director and led the integrated Time Warner Cable account and was worldwide direct marketing lead for Lenovo.
"The Kraft Foods One Team fuses together MediaVest and Digitas resources into a powerhouse team of talent and capability," said Tucker. "This AOR was structured to deliver tremendous synergy and agility that drives ROI and builds Kraft Foods' business."
Added Weisman: "The Kraft Foods One Team is a demonstration of [Publicis media management arm] VivaKi's commitment to liquid talent come to life. We're thrilled to bring our resources and talent to this powerful collaboration on behalf of Kraft Foods. Susan's business acumen and experience across traditional and digital channels makes her the ideal leader for the team."