Zenith Media’s European CEO Steve King will have overall
responsibility for the massive pounds 85 million Mars UK buying business
which the agency landed last week.
King presides over the Mars account in the US and a number of European
markets, including Scandinavia, Spain and the Czech Republic.
From 1 January, he and his UK team will take on broadcast buying for the
Mars Confectionery and Pedigree Masterfoods portfolio.
Zenith’s Mars team already handles the pounds 8 million centralised
press buying business for Snickers, Tunes, Maltesers and Lockets, which
it picked up last year.
The team consists of the managing partner Rob Hill, buying manager Jamie
White and senior buyers Bruce McGowan and Lau Kung.
Zenith is expected to use the same core buying staff but bring in extra
people to cope with the increased workload over the next few months.
The new remit covers television, radio, cinema and video buying.
The Mars buying business was previously split between MediaVest and
MediaCom TMB. Both took part in a lengthy pitch process in June. New
PHD, which works on the planning side, was also invited to present.
MediaVest handles a mix of planning and buying for Mars, including the
Pedigree Masterfoods brands, worth a total of pounds 30 million.
MediaCom worked on a number of confectionery accounts, thought to be
worth around pounds 25 million. New PHD carries out planning for M&Ms,
Celebrations, Bounty and Snickers, among others.
Planning will remain with the incumbent agencies although insiders have
not ruled out a centralisation of planning business in the future.
Outdoor, handled by Concord, is unaffected.
The Zenith appointment is part of a global review of Mars’ agency
The company is poised to appoint an agency for the global centralised
creative account in the near future.