Walt Disney Media in Review

The Walt Disney Co. has put its media agency assignment into review, the company has confirmed.

The company spent more than $1 billion on media in 2009 and around $500 million in the first half of this year, according to ad-spending tracker Kantar Media.

The review covers the movie studio operation, theme parks and TV.

The incumbent on the assignment is Publicis Groupe’s Starcom, which is likely to defend, although a rep didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail for comment.

Potential contenders include WPP’s Mindshare, which lost the Fox assignment a few years back to ZenithOptimedia, although it subsequently picked up the smaller Summit Entertainment, packager of the Twilight vampire flicks. And Omnicom’s PHD, which recently lost the assignment for Relativity Media (the producer behind the recently released Mark Zuckerberg biopic The Social Network), could also throw its hat in the ring.

Shops unlikely to participate due to conflicts include OMD, which handles Universal Studios; MediaCom, which has Warner Bros./New Line; and MEC, which does Paramount. (Interpublic’s Initiative has the Lionsgate assignment, and Universal McCann handles Sony pictures.)

Earlier this year, Walt Disney Studios hired agency veteran MT Carney to run its marketing operation. She oversees all aspects of worldwide marketing and distribution for the studio, covering both the Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures banners.

Previously, Carney co-founded Naked NY, the communications planning specialist. Earlier, she was worldwide planning director at Ogilvy & Mather.