NEWS: Benckiser starts pounds 7m media pitch

A raft of agencies are lining up to fight for the pounds 7 million UK centralised media business of the German cosmetics-to-household products company, Benckiser.

A raft of agencies are lining up to fight for the pounds 7 million UK

centralised media business of the German cosmetics-to-household products

company, Benckiser.



The agencies, believed to include at least one network, have been told

to prepare for a winner-takes-all pitch early in the new year.



Benckiser’s media planning and buying is currently split between BMP DDB

Needham and Manning Gottlieb Media, but the client has been trying to

streamline its UK roster since September 1993.



At that time, the account was shared between the incumbents and Austin

West Media. Following a competitive review, Austin West was kicked off

the roster.



The Benckiser marketing director, Keith Edwards, said at the time: ‘We

have not seen conclusive proof of the benefits to be gained from

centralising our business.’



However, a series of top-level changes at Benckiser are believed to have

forced centralisation back on to the agenda. In June, the company

appointed a new European marketing director and a new managing director.

In September, Benckiser also poached Ian Hutchinson, the international

media manager at MediaCom, as its first international media director.



Benckiser is already understood to be reviewing its media arrangements

across a number of European markets. In Switzerland, the company has

just reappointed its incumbent media agency, Robert Baier, following a

competitive pitch.



Nevertheless, Hutchinson denied reports that the company is planning a

pan-European media centralisation. ‘We use different agencies in

different countries and we decide our needs as and when. There is no

rationale to use one agency network,’ he said.



Edwards denied there was a formal review and said: ‘Like most companies,

we get a lot of approaches from agencies and we do have informal

discussions to make sure we have our finger on the pulse.’



Paul Taylor, joint media director at BMP, said: ‘No-one has advised us

of any review on Benckiser.’



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