$275 Mil. Mattel Media Planning in Play

LOS ANGELES Mattel is reviewing its $275 million media planning business, according to sources.

Presenting this week are WPP Group incumbents MindShare and Mediaedge:cia, pitching together as GroupM; Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest; and Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA, sources said. All of the shops are pursuing the business from their Los Angeles-area offices.

The two WPP media networks also handle Mattel media buying, which is not part of the review. Sources said the review also does not include Mattel unit Fisher-Price, based in East Aurora, N.Y.

The agencies and client were unavailable for comment.

WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather in Los Angeles handles creative for Mattel’s Barbie and other assignments; sibling Young & Rubicam in Irvine, Calif., handles Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price characters and other work. Earlier this month, Publicis’ Leo Burnett in Chicago won creative for Mattel’s American Girl product line, which was previously in-house [Adweek Online, Jan. 11].

For third-quarter 2004, Mattel reported net income of $255.9 million, down from $270 million for the comparable period in 2003. Worldwide gross sales for Fisher-Price were up 7 percent, and 9 percent for the American Girl line; Barbie was down 13 percent. Per-share earnings were listed at 61 cents. Mattel will release fourth-quarter 2004 and year-end results on Monday.