Red Bull Hands North American Media Account to Starcom USA

The agency beat out Mindshare and incumbent Carat

Starcom USA won the account over incumbent Carat. Red Bull

Publicis Groupe’s Starcom USA announced it has won the media account of Red Bull North America, taking over planning, buying, search, social and programmatic duties for the energy drink brand from incumbent Carat following a review.

“Red Bull is a cutting-edge brand with incredible vision and we are honored to be selected as their media partner,” Starcom CEO Kathy Ring said in a statement. “Their culture of innovation and iteration is a perfect fit for Starcom and we’re excited to use our unique capabilities to help Red Bull North America uncover new insights about their audience and reach them in an authentic way.”

A source with knowledge of the matter said Carat tried to defend the account that it has held for nearly eight years and made it to the final round, alongside Mindshare and Starcom. Neither Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat or GroupM’s Mindshare could be reached for comment.

The source said the review concluded sometime last week.

Red Bull did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Carat originally won the U.S. media planning and buying business of Red Bull in 2010. Before that, the account was handled by Los Angeles-based Siltanen & Partners (which was headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., in 2010 and did not try to defend the business from Carat).

Red Bull spent $30.2 million on marketing efforts in the U.S. last year, down from the $54.4 million it reportedly spent in 2016, according to Kantar Media.

From 2011 to 2016, Red Bull has grown its global revenue to $7.4 billion from $5.2 billion, according to Statista. The brand is most recognized for its sports sponsorships and activations. The Red Bull brand, owned by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH, holds the largest market share of any energy drink in the world—having sold 6.06 billion cans in 2016.

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.