Mattel Global Media Moves to Carat

NEW YORK Mattel has awarded Aegis Group’s Carat its global media planning account and the majority of its media buying after a review, according to sources.

Estimated annual ad spending on the business moving to Carat is $500 million, per sources.

The incumbent was WPP Group’s MindShare, which defended; Publicis Groupe’s ZenithOptimedia also pitched, per sources.

The contenders could not be immediately reached for comment, and the client did not return calls.

Sources said MindShare retains the buying assignment for the domestic network TV portion of the Mattel business.

Mattel’s network TV spending in the U.S. last year was $220 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. From January through July of this year, ad spending in that sector was $52 million, although the toymaker reserves most of its budget for the Q4 holiday season.

Recently, the client’s business has been rocked by a series of recalls of its Chinese-made toys amid concerns of potentially toxic materials in the manufacturing process there. To date, some 21 types of Mattel toys have been recalled.