Samsung follows HSBC's lead with a group pitch

Group pitches are catching on but only for a few clients, as James Hamilton reports.

The pitch for HSBC's global account must rank as one of the most high profile and dramatic in recent years. WPP's win will see an as-yet unfinalised complement of 25 agencies working across the $600 million account.

There is a widespread feeling that other clients will copy HSBC's decision to appoint a group to handle all its advertising and marketing. But the number of clients that own a single global brand for which the group approach might work can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Add to the equation the potential for client conflict and the number shrinks further. American Express has already voiced concerns about sharing MindShare with HSBC.

Such concerns haven't dented Samsung's interest in the group pitch. Omnicom has pulled up in the race for the Korean electronics giant, leaving WPP and Publicis Groupe in a one-on-one sprint for an estimated $400 million in billings, but with potential revenues greater than those on HSBC, according to industry insiders.

And rich pickings still abound in accounts under review. This month's table boasts nearly $5 billion of new business worth $50 million or more, with FMCG accounts making up the lion's share of this very attractive purse, the majority of which will go to media agencies. And this doesn't just represent US profligacy: Unilever and Heinz have both announced pan-European media reviews, with a combined value estimated at almost $2 billion.

ACCOUNTS UNDER REVIEW

CLIENT/TASK BUDGET SHORTLIST INCUMBENT DECISION CON-

dollars SULTANT

PROCTER & GAMBLE

Media planning, 2.5bn MediaCom, MediaCom, July None

North America Starcom Starcom

MediaVest MediaVest

UNILEVER

Media buying, 1.2bn Initiative, Initiative, December n/s

Europe MindShare, MindShare

Carat, OMD

SAMSUNG

Creative, global 400m WPP, Foote, Cone June None

Publicis & Belding

Groupe

SC JOHNSON

Media buying, 350m Initiative, Initiative, Was due None

global ZOG, ZOG, in May

(broadcast only) Universal Universal

McCann McCann

CIRCUIT CITY

Creative, US 150m McCann Foote, Cone June n/s

(broadcast only) Erickson & Belding

NY, Doner

Michigan,

The Richards

Group Dallas

SUBARU OF AMERICA

Creative, global 140m TM TM July AAR

Advertising Advertising partners

Texas, Texas

unspecified

PFIZER (Viagra)

Creative, US 100m Cline Davis Cline Davis Was due None

& Mann NY, & Mann NY in May

McCann

Erickson

NY, Merkley

& Partners

Healthworks

NY

HEINZ

Media buying 70m Undisclosed Starcom July n/s

and planning, MediaVest

Europe

ACCOUNTS WON

CLIENT/TASK BUDGET WINNER SHORTLIST INCUMBENT CON-

dollars SULTANT

HSBC

Media and

creative, 600m WPP IPG, Omnicom, Zenith None

global WPP Optimedia,

Lowe

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM

Media planning 425m MediaCom Universal MediaCom,

and buying, McCann, Universal n/s

five European MediaCom, McCann

markets MindShare

STAR ALLIANCE

Media, global 240m Group M Mediaedge:cia, Mediaedge:cia, n/s

(WPP) MindShare, MindShare

OMD,

MediaCom,

Interpublic

TOYS 'R' US

Creative, US 116m Young & Leo Burnett Leo Burnett None

Rubicam Chicago, Chicago

NY DDB Chicago,

FC&B New York

All budgets are estimates.

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