Mondelez Launches Global Media Review, Picks Spark Foundry and VaynerMedia for North American Business

CPG company spends more than $1 billion annually

The review started in late 2016. Mondelez International
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Mondelez International, one of the world’s largest advertisers, confirmed today that it has moved on to the international phase of a global media review after naming its new North American agency partners.

“I can confirm that we have selected Spark Foundry as one of our new partners for MDLZ North America as part of a global media review effort,” said a spokesperson, adding, “We have enjoyed a partnership with VaynerMedia for several years, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them within the structure of our new global review.”

Multiple sources close to the matter told Adweek that the Publicis Groupe agency will handle media buying duties in North America, while VaynerMedia gets the digital and planning portions of the business.

Representatives for both Spark Foundry and VaynerMedia deferred to the client for comment.

During Mondelez’s recent year-end earnings report, CEO Dirk Van de Put told investors his top priority involves boosting sales in North America. But the company, which has lost market share to local candymakers in major markets like India, also is looking to streamline its operations around the world in keeping with other multinational CPG businesses like P&G, Unilever and Kimberly-Clark, which recently launched a global creative agency review after announcing plans to cut 5,000 jobs.

“We launched a global media review as our current assignments are coming to an end,” a global Mondelez representative told Adweek. “With this review, we’re taking a new look at our media buying in order to address key changes such as programmatic, transparency and ecommerce and better equip our company for the next three years. We recently finalized the review in North America and are now in the process of conducting a review in AMEA and MEU. We intend to finalize that effort sometime in Q3.”

The spokesperson declined to elaborate on whether the company has hired an outside consultancy to manage the process.

In late 2015, Mondelez effectively split its global media account between Dentsu’s Carat and Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest (now Spark Foundry), with the former handling the business in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America and the latter responsible for Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as Latin America.

Sources told Adweek that Mondelez sent RFPs to all the major holding companies for the global review and that Publicis will be competing via a multiagency “Power of One” conglomerate. Spokespeople for Publicis and Dentsu referred to the client, while Omnicom declined to comment. A Havas representative confirmed that the network would not be participating in the review, and WPP’s GroupM declined to comment.

Earlier reports held that Carat was invited to defend in the North American review, but an agency spokesperson has not responded to a request for comment. Two sources with knowledge of the global review told Adweek that Omnicom Media would be participating, meaning the pitch will most likely pit WPP against Publicis and Dentsu.

According to Kantar Media, Mondelez spent approximately $210 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2016 and just under $170 million last year. International consultancy R3 estimates the company spends between $1 billion and $1.5 billion around the world annually.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.