Interpublic pulls out of race for $1bn Fox media account

NEW YORK - The Interpublic Group network has turned down an invitation to pitch for the $1bn (£580m) consolidated media account for Fox Filmed Entertainment, due to a conflict arising from its win, two weeks ago, of the $130m US work for competitor Lion's Gate Films.

Interpublic Group agencies that were expected to compete for the media account include Initiative and Universal McCann, which will not take part in the process.

The account covers advertising for movies, home entertainment and programming from Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Atomic, Fox Animation and Twentieth Century Fox International.

Fox Filmed Entertainment, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire, has an annual advertising spend of $1.1bn, with $750m of the company's spend in the US.

Recent releases from Twentieth Century Fox include 'John Tucker Must Die', starring 'Desperate Housewives' beau Jesse Metcalfe, and 'My Super Ex-Girlfriend', starring Uma Thurman.
 
The advertiser gave the go-ahead for the review, which is being handled by US-based search consultancy Select Resources International, last month. The auditing firm called the action a "strategic move" to bring all the companies media into one shop by the end of this year. Roster networks will be asked to pitch for the global account.

In the US, WPP Group's MindShare handles Fox's TV and radio buying with Omnicom's Organicing work on the company's online media buying. In the UK, Publicis Groupe's Starcom handles Fox's £35m media account. All the roster agencies are expected to participate in the pitch for the business. 
 
The review does not include the business handled by Allied, Fox's US national newspaper agency.
 
Lion's Gate forthcoming releases include documentary 'The US. Vs John Lennon' and 'Employee of the Month', starring Jessica Simpson.

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