Publicis Scores With L’Oreal, BT

NEW YORK It’s been a big day for Publicis Groupe media shops in Europe.

Zenith Optimedia added L’Oreal’s French media duties. Those chores are worth $700 million-plus, per sources. Separately, telecom giant BT Group has handed its consolidated $130 million global media planning and buying account to Starcom and Zed Media.

The L’Oreal assignment comes two years after the client appointed ZO as its media planning and buying partner in more than 15 European countries. Previously, the client handled the account in-house in France.

All told, Publicis Groupe now handles more than $1.7 billion in global L’Oreal business, sources said.

Starcom, the buying incumbent on the BT account, topped another roster shop, WPP’s Mediaedge:cia, for the business. MEC had handled planning. Zed was the digital incumbent.

Confirming the appointment, the client said the Publicis team would be integrated into a single unit with BT’s media staff, led by Steve Huddleston, BT head of media, and housed at BT’s headquarters in London.

“This integrated BT Group unit is designed to future-proof BT as our influence within the media sector develops, and was a critical element in our decision making,” said Huddleston in a statement. “Publicis has shown that they can deliver this while integrating seamlessly into our in-house team, and we very much look forward to working alongside them.”

Iain Jacob, who sits on the worldwide Publicis Groupe media board, said in a statement, “We have worked with BT for five years. This is, in effect, a new assignment for us that represents a powerful new approach to media in the U.K. BT has always worked hard to lead and we are exceptionally pleased to be working with them going forward.”