Kraft Heinz Consolidates Media Duties With Starcom

By Erik Oster 

The recently-merged Kraft Heinz announced that it will consolidate its media duties with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom. Starcom was incumbent for Kraft Foods Group Co. and will now pick up U.S. media duties for Heinz brands, an assignment formerly held by Interpublic’s UM. The news marks the second big win of the week for Starcom, following the media agency winning the Visa account just a few days ago. 

“As we work to build something truly special at The Kraft Heinz Company, we are examining every aspect of our business to ensure we are operating efficiently and effectively, and best positioning the company to deliver on the needs of our consumers,” Kraft Heinz spokesman Michael Mullen said in a statement released to AdAge. “In this spirit, we have decided to consolidate all media planning and buying for Kraft Heinz with Starcom, effective immediately.” 

While there was some speculation, following the finalization of the Kraft Heinz merger in July, that the company would launch a media review, Kraft Heinz decided to consolidate with the media agency already responsible for its Kraft brands instead. According to Kantar Media, Kraft Foods Group spent $569.3 million on U.S. measured media in 2014, compared to just $44.2 million spent on Heinz domestically. Mullen also cited Starcom’s “unprecedented strides in unlocking the value of data in the industry” as an impetus for the decision while conceding “the decision to consolidate the business was not made lightly. We have enjoyed a great relationship with Universal McCann.”