MindShare wins Nestle battle

The agency strengthens its grip on the Nestle business after a showdown with ZenithOptimedia.

MindShare has triumphed over ZenithOptimedia for control of the bulk of the £62 million UK Nestle account.

The two agencies have been battling to impress Stuart Cox, the media manager of Nestle UK & Ireland. The company decided to split the global business between the two networks last month, removing Universal McCann and OMD from its roster (Campaign, 22 October).

MindShare, headed by its chief executive, Kelly Clark, will now add to its portfolio: the £5 million chilled and dairy foods division, comprising Ski yoghurts, Herta sausages and Munch Bunch; the £7 million Nestle's Purina account, which includes Felix, Friskies and Bakers, and the £3 million waters business, with brands including Buxton, Perrier and Vittel.

Universal McCann was the incumbent on the chilled and dairy business, OMD UK on the petfoods and ZenithOptimedia on the waters. MindShare already handled the £20 million confectionery and £10 million coffee briefs.

The only part of the business that will remain outside MindShare is the £17 million Cereal Partners account. Cereal Partners is a joint venture between Nestle and General Mills and, as Universal McCann handles the US account, it is likely that, in the short term at least, the UK brief will remain with Universal.

The process of allocating the business was riven with potential conflict - MindShare has handled Kellogg for more than 50 years, while ZenithOptimedia handles Muller Masterfoods. MindShare's European victory in the £200 million Unilever pitch raised more issues, as the business includes the Birds Eye Wall's division, whose products rival Nestle's.

However, to manage the conflict, MindShare has created an agency within an agency for the Unilever brief.