It’s Official: Initiative Wins $130 Mil. CBS

NEW YORK CBS has chosen Initiative to handle its media business following a review, Interpublic Group confirmed today during its earnings call with analysts. The client spent $130 million on ads last year, per TNS Media Intelligence.

IPG-owned Initiative here bested incumbent Carat, a unit of Aegis Group, and Omnicom Group’s OMD in the final round, per sources.

CBS executives could not immediately be reached.

Cheryl Lodinger, a Los Angeles-based consultant, oversaw the review.

Up to now, Carat has been handling media for the CBS and UPN networks. But with the split of Viacom and CBS into two companies at the start of the year, CBS added Showtime, the King World and Paramount syndication units, Simon & Schuster Publishing and CBS Digital Media, all of which are part of the review.

It’s the new combination of assets that prompted the review, CBS marketing president George Schweitzer said in January. “It is incumbent upon us at this time to take a look around and see how best this combination can be served,” he said. “It’s not about Carat, it’s about the new world.”

Initiative will now plan and buy mostly national advertising for TV, print, radio and interactive. Advertising for the company’s local TV and radio stations was not part of the review.

—Adweek staff report

This story updates an item posted on March 21 with IPG’s confirmation of the CBS win.