Universal fights MindShare for £60m Nestle

Nestle has invited its two incumbent agencies, Universal McCann and MindShare, to pitch for its £60 million UK media business with a view to centralising its entire account.

MindShare currently handles the bulk of the brief with Nestle's confectionery and ice-cream brands, while Universal McCann is responsible for Nestle's beverages and food products.

Sources have suggested that MindShare could have problems accommodating Nestle's centralised business because of the direct clash presented by Nestle's cereal brands, which include Shredded Wheat, Cheerios and Golden Grahams, and its current responsibility for the £43 million Kellogg account.

The review is part of a wider restructuring programme at Nestle, which is in the process of selling its ambient foods business and restructuring its media department.

Stuart Cox, a former media director of McCann-Erickson, has taken over responsibility for all Nestle's media arrangements, including its in-house agency, Fairfield, and its confectionery division, Nestle Rowntree. Cox was previously only responsible for the food and beverages division and the chilled dairy division it recently acquired from Eden Vale.

Earlier this month, Cox took the £10 million Eden Vale media account out of Zenith and into Universal McCann as part of the consolidation.

This, combined with MindShare's conflicting business issues and Cox's media agency history, has led observers to tip Universal McCann to win the entire £60 million brief.

Nestle's director of marketing services, Philip Buckman, has lost his job as part of the restructure, although he is remaining until the end of the year and will be overseeing the review.

Cox will now report to Nestle's director of communications and corporate affairs, David Hudson, who is based in Croydon.