MediaCom scoops UK Masterfoods business

Masterfoods, the confectionery, food and pet care company, has consolidated media planning across its £120 million UK media business into MediaCom.

The agency had contested a pitch with the fellow incumbents Starcom MediaVest Group and PHD. Zenith Optimedia Group and Media Planning Group also pitched. MPG had taken MediaCom to a final head-to-head contest after the other agencies had been eliminated.

MediaCom's appointment to the planning contract does not affect Zenith's centralised media buying account. As well as planning for advertising activity, MediaCom will also work on below-the-line planning across direct mail and in-store.

Masterfoods, which includes Mars Confectionery and Pedigree Masterfoods, said that it had held the pitch as part of a European initiative to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its brand campaigns.

The consolidation will bring significant new business to MediaCom, which before the review handled media planning for just six out of the 27 Masterfoods brands in the UK. Previously, PHD and MediaVest had split the bulk of the account, with PHD working on brands including Tunes, Celebrations, M&M's, Sheba and Whiskas, while MediaVest worked on Mars Bar, Maltesers, Skittles, Uncle Ben's and Dolmio.

MediaVest, which repitched for the business alongside its sister agency Starcom, ends its relationship with Masterfoods at the same time as its sister agency D'Arcy, which lost the Mars Bar and Maltesers accounts last week.

Masterfood's regional media manager for western Europe, Paul Smith, said: "The standard of all the candidates was high and it was a difficult choice, particularly as we had long-standing relationships with some of the agencies.

MediaCom won through, demonstrating an excellent understanding of our business and our target audiences, having a sound, committed team and showing dedication to optimising our strategies."