Dunkin’ Donuts Sends U.S. Media Account to Publicis Groupe

Hill Holliday's Trilia, Havas and MDC competed

A dedicated Publicis team will handle the Dunkin' Donuts media account.
Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts announced today it is sending its U.S. media account to Publicis Media, which will pull resources from shops including Digitas and Blue 449 to create a dedicated unit for the chain.

The Publicis unit, yet to be named, will work with Dunkin’ Donuts’ company and franchise leadership and existing partners on all national and local media planning and buying. The appointment followed a review—the first in 20 years for the brand—sparked earlier this year.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Dunkin’ Donuts as we are evolving to become America’s favorite on-the-go stop for coffee and baked goods, and we’re delighted to partner with Publicis Media to help us identify, engage and inspire action with the right consumers in real time,” Keith Lusby, vice president of media for Dunkin’ Donuts U.S., said in a statement.

Lusby, who left his role as executive director of MullenLowe’s Mediahub in March, added the company chose Publicis based on its “best-in-class people, tools and ideas that demonstrated they are the ideal partner to help us innovate the way we engage with our consumers and drive the business forward.”

People familiar with the matter said MDC Media Partners and Havas Media competed against Publicis for the account.

Incumbent IPG’s Trilia, a full-service media agency launched from Hill Holliday and Erwin Penland, also participated in the media review process. Hill Holliday declined to defend Dunkin’ Donuts’ creative account, which it also handled for 20 years, in a separate review that ended in April with creative duties sent to BBDO and Arc Worldwide.

“We are extremely proud of our work and partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts over the last 20 years,” a Hill Holliday spokeswoman said in a statement to Adweek. “Together, we created groundbreaking media campaigns, earned our industry’s highest awards, led first-to-market groundbreaking digital partnerships—and made Dunkin’ the No.1 coffee brand in the U.S. ‘America runs on Dunkin’ has been a successful platform for 12 years. We wish the Dunkin’ team and franchisees continued success, and we look forward to bringing innovative media thinking to a new partner in this category.”

According to Kantar Media, parent company Dunkin’ Brands spent around $150 million on paid media in the U.S. in 2016.

Jodi Robinson, president of Digitas North America, will be executive lead for the dedicated Dunkin’ Donuts team. The trend of clients turning to dedicated units from multiple agencies within a single holding company has been on the rise since McDonald’s consolidated its business with Omnicom in 2016 and launched We Are Unlimited. P&G went off the grid in April when it announced a dedicated agency for its North America Fabric Care business that pulled from competing holding companies.

“Dunkin’ Donuts is an iconic American brand and we’re thrilled to partner and help them continue to win consumer attention, loyalty and growth through transformative marketing solutions spanning investment, strategy, content, data and analysis and more,” Robinson said in a statement.

The review was led by MediaLink.

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