MediaVest and Leo Burnett’s media department will merge to form
what is set to be the UK’s second-largest media brand within the next
few weeks, following the results of the Procter & Gamble media
P&G handed Burnetts and MediaVest the bulk of its pounds 200 million
media account, precipitating a merger of the two agencies ahead of a
formal global deal between MediaVest’s parent, MacManus, and Leo
The London agency will be the first office to open in the new global
joint venture media network, likely to be called StarVest. The name, an
amalgamation of MacManus’s MediaVest and TeleVest brands and Burnett’s
US media operation, StarCom, is now in research to ensure that is
acceptable in markets around the world.
MediaVest’s chief executive, Jim Marshall, will take over as chief
executive of the new UK agency, while MediaVest’s joint managing
directors, Robert Ray and Chris Locke, and Burnetts’ joint media
directors, David Connolly and Richard Beaven, will be managing
The P&G business, worth about pounds 170 million to the new agency, will
be housed in a separate unit inside the new company and will come under
the remit of Connolly.
Motive, a sister media operation to Burnetts, is likely to have a role
on the European holding board which will manage the new company.
The P&G review was the largest in the UK media market and P&G confirmed
this week that Burnetts media department had won the TV and outdoor
prizes, worth about pounds 160 million and pounds 5 million
The pounds 7 million press buying task went to MediaCom while the radio
account, worth about pounds 2 million, went to MediaVest. Burnetts and
MediaVest worked together on the pitch in advance of the merger of the
The result is a major blow to Saatchi & Saatchi, which previously shared
the TV scheduling task with Burnetts, where the account is run by Tony
Emment. Saatchis pitched for all the P&G media accounts but emerged
empty-handed. Saatchis will now lose an estimated pounds 1 million in
income. Mediapolis, another P&G roster agency, pitched for the press and
TV accounts but also failed to convert.
A formal statement from P&G confirmed the appointments ’following an
extensive review process of our agency scheduling arrangements’. The new
tasks will be in place by early 1999.
The decision effectively centralises the majority of the P&G media
business into a single agency - the merged Burnetts/MediaVest operation
- and will bring the new agency’s billings to about pounds 550 million,
making it the second-largest media agency in the UK.
The UK P&G review, led by the company’s media director, Bernard
Balderston, represents the last stage in a global overhaul of P&G’s
The fmcg giant has been reviewing its media arrangements on a
country-by-country basis, and last year awarded its pounds 750 million
TV business to TeleVest - the sister US operation of MediaVest.
Burnetts was also handed P&G’s US print business.