Universal McCann Wins Nestle Buying Review

LOS ANGELES — Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Universal McCann, New York, the global media agency for Nestle, has retained and added to its responsibilities for the Swiss marketer, winning the client’s consolidated $375 million U.S. media buying account in a two-shop shootout against PHD, St. Louis, sources said. PHD was an incumbent shop for Purina pet foods, acquired by Nestle in December.

The acquisition sparked a review that included not just the combined $150 million buying business for Purina and Nestle’s Friskie’s pet food brands but all of the advertiser’s consolidated media buying in the U.S., according to sources. Creative is split among several agencies in the U.S. and abroad, and the client is currently holding a global creative review for its pet food brands.

A separate company called Nestle Purina PetCare will be formed to market the combined brands, reporting to Nestle S.A. in Switzerland. Media planning for Purina remains at PHD; Friskie’s planning is handled by Interpublic Group’s Dailey and Associates and McCann-Erickson, both Los Angeles.

With the win, Universal McCann now handles close to $1 billion in Nestle media business around the world. The addition is the second major victory for the shop in 2002. In January, Universal McCann prevailed in the $600-million review of Sony Corp.’s consolidated U.S. media business.