The appointment sees PHD lose the planning account across Europe, with TBWA\Connections taking lead status. MediaCom will continue to handle implementational planning in the UK.
It is a vote of confidence in TBWA\Connections, which offers clients non-traditional media solutions and "total brand thinking", as it is the first significant win for the operation since it launched last August. TBWA\London already handles the pan-European above-the-line account for Whiskas.
At the time of launch, Nick Manning, the chief executive at MGOMD, said TBWA\Connections was "not aiming to disrupt TBWA's relationships with other media agencies". And that the aim of the operation was to "work only on shared clients and mainly on new business".
Andrew McGuinness, the TBWA chief executive, heads the division. Enyi Nwosu, a former executive director at ZenithOptimedia, is responsible for running the operation on a day-to-day basis.
The appointment strengthens the TBWA network's position as the favourite on the Masterfoods roster.
Last month, Masterfoods moved the £55 million global creative account for its Pedigree Petfood dog food brands out of Grey Worldwide and into the TBWA network without a pitch.
TBWA, PHD and MediaCom were not available for comment on the Whiskas media appointment.