P&G triumph precipitates the launch of StarVest

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 review.

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

review.



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

Burnett.



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

partners.



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

respectively.



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

companies.



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

media business.



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.



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