The appointment follows Kraft's decision to centralise its business into one of its two global roster networks in a bid to simplify its agency relationships. Despite being the long-standing UK incumbent, ZenithOptimedia was not invited to repitch.
The win strengthens Starcom Mediavest's links with Kraft - it already handles its business in the US, while MindShare dominates Asia.
The pitch was beset with potential clashes. MindShare handles Nestle's coffee business, which clashes with the Kraft brand Kenco, while Starcom Group, through Starcom Motive, works for Cadbury, which conflicts with Kraft's Dime and Terry's brands. However, Starcom Group found a solution through its Starcom Mediavest operation.
The global Nestle business is up for review and MindShare's failure to win the Kraft account could prove to be a blessing as it removes the complication of clashes.
Helen Holloway, the director of marketing, consumer insight and communications at Kraft, said: "We received outstanding proposals from both agencies during this review and it was a very close decision. We chose Starcom Mediavest because its proposals offered the best fit with our desire to deliver insight-led communication solutions at best possible cost."
Starcom Mediavest will take over the UK account at the beginning of next month. Kraft will continue to review its media business on a market-by-market basis.