The Dutch electronics giant Philips is putting its global media account up for review, worth an estimated dollars 600 million.
The company is talking to five agency networks which could include its incumbents Carat, the incumbent on its European account, and MediaVest SMG Worldwide, which holds the Philips business in Japan, Hong Kong and the US. The review is being handled by Media Audits.
Inge Wallage, a senior spokeswoman for Philips, said: 'It is true that we have put out a request for a proposal to five media groups, because we are looking for a global planning and buying agency. We expect a decision to be taken by June.'
The media review follows on from the decision by Philips to review its creative arrangements at the end of last year, when the company split from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG Worldwide, Philips' lead agency for ten years.
The electronics giant appointed DDB Worldwide to the creative account for its consumer, electronics, semiconductor, components and Philips Group advertising. D'Arcy, which was an incumbent on its domestic appliances and personal care division, also picked up Sonicare, the electrical oral care brand - previously handled by Goodby Silverstein.
In the past, Philips has reviewed its media on a regional basis. Carat scooped the centralised European media planning and buying account back in 1996 following a pitch against The Network (now known as MindShare), the Media Centre (now MediaVest) and Initiative Media.
Before the European centralisation, the account was split between five agencies, including Mediastar (now Media Planning), the Media Centre, Carat, Initiative and the Network. For Carat, at the time the Philips win was one of its largest centralisation successes.
It is understood that Philips has made it very clear to the agencies it has approached that it will not be happy working with a network that is handling any conflicting business.
Last year the company restructured its management and business units and is making an aggressive push to become the number one or two brand in all of the business segments it competes in. The brand is ranked number three globally in consumer electronics, behind Matsushita Electric and Sony Electronics.