Accounts in Review: Coke Joins the Long List of Media Searches

The media account frenzy continues.

A week after searches for Visa and Coty surfaced, Coca-Cola bubbled up with a review of its U.S. media business. Spending on the account grew 27 percent last year to more than $400 million and is expected to rise again this year. So, to say that interest in this account is high would be a gross understatement.

To play, however, you have to be a Coke roster shop. As such, MediaVest is defending against media shops that handle Coke business in other parts of the world, namely UM, MediaCom and Carat. A decision is expected in July.

Interpublic Group CEO Michael Roth acknowledged the flurry of media opportunities today during a conference call with industry analysts.

"A lot of these pitches are focused on efficiencies," said Roth, who in particular cited the searches for Coke, Unilever and L'Oréal. "These are global clients that not necessarily are unhappy with the services that they're getting, but they want to make sure they're optimizing the use of their media dollars in an efficient way and are moving the needle.

"And we're responsive," he added. "We have a good track record in those [types of] pitches, and we expect to see that continue."

Oh, and among creative searches, Hershey settled up today, adding Anomaly, Argonaut and Barkley to its roster, alongside incumbents Arnold and Havas Worldwide.


Unilever: Global Media

Media spend: $5 billion
Incumbents: Mindshare, Initiative, PHD
Contenders: Incumbents, possibly others
Decision: December


SC Johnson: Global Media

Media spend: $1 billion
Incumbents: Maxus (traditional), PHD (digital)
Contenders: Incumbents
Completion: April



L’Oréal: Media

Media spend: $780 million
Incumbents: UM (traditional), DigitasLBi (digital)
Contenders: Incumbents, others to be determined
Completion: December



Hershey: Creative

Media spend: $650 million
Incumbents: Arnold (traditional), Havas Worldwide (digital)
Contenders: Anomaly, Argonaut, Barkley, among others
Added Anomaly, Argonaut, Barkley to roster alongside Arnold, Havas


Sears/Kmart: Creative, Media

Media spend: $560 million
Incumbents: Sears: mcgarrybowen, Havas Worldwide, Havas Media; Kmart: FCB, Havas Media
Contenders: Teams from Interpublic, Publicis Groupe and Havas, led by FCB, Leo Burnett and Havas Worldwide, respectively
Completion: May


Coty: Global Media

Media spend: $600 million
Incumbent: OMD, Havas Media, Zenith Media
Contenders: To be determined
Completion: June


Coca-Cola: Media

Media spend: $400 million
Incumbent: MediaVest
Contenders: Incumbent, UM, MediaCom, Carat
Completion: July


Visa: Global Media

Media spend: $250 million
Incumbent: OMD
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Completion: June