MPG Wins $100 Mil. CBS Films Biz

NEW YORK CBS Films, the recently established theatrical film unit of CBS Corp., has awarded its media planning and buying account to Havas’ MPG after a review, the client has confirmed. Spending on the account is $100 million, per sources.

Other contenders were Aegis Group’s Carat and Omnicom’s OMD, which was awarded media chores for the CBS network and Showtime last year without a review. Those duties, with an annual ad spend of around $135 million, were not part of the CBS Films review.

The assignment is effective immediately.

Commenting on the review, Debbie Miller, evp, worldwide marketing, CBS Films, said in a statement: “As we look toward our first releases, our goal is to find innovative ways to reach movie audiences. The MPG team demonstrated impressive creativity and passion which extends beyond traditional media planning, making them not only an exciting agency choice, but also an invaluable strategic partner.”

Steve Lanzano, COO at MPG, said: “We are thrilled to be working with CBS Films and we’re proud to be joining their team to help market their lineup of exciting new films. They have a dynamite marketing team and we very much look forward to serving as their marketing partners with their new venture.”

CBS announced plans for a film studio startup in 2007 and has been gearing up ever since. The company plans to produce between four and six mid-budget movies per year, spanning all genres.  Currently in pre-production: a yet-to-be titled drama starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser, and the romantic comedy Plan B starring Jennifer Lopez. Slated to hit theaters in January, Plan B will be the company’s first release.

Cherie Crane, the client’s svp, media and research, oversaw the review process.

The CBS Films win is the second win in as many months for MPG, which won the Virgin Mobile media account in January. Other recent new business wins for the shop include Carnival Cruise Lines, Jones Apparel and Swarovski.