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Kraft Foods to review £300m global media business

EXCLUSIVE - Kraft Foods, the second biggest food and beverage company in the world, is reviewing its global media account, estimated to be worth around £300m.

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It is understood that only WPP Group's MindShare and Publicis-owned Starcom MediaVest have been invited to pitch for the business, worth around £13m in the UK, on a market-by-market basis. Incumbent ZenithOptimedia, which has held the account since 1980, has not been asked to repitch.

ZenithOptimedia's elimination is understood to be because it is also a Publicis–owned network and Kraft wants to consolidate the account into a single agency.

Kraft operates in 63 countries worldwide and in two major markets through Kraft Foods North America and Kraft Foods International. The latter incorporates Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America and Asia Pacific. Starcom MediaVest is the current incumbent in the US, whereas MindShare holds the Asia Pacific account. Sister WPP agency J Walter Thompson is Kraft's UK advertising agency.

Kraft UK's business spans five categories: coffee, cheese, confectionery, desserts and grocery. Brands include Birds Dessert range, Carte Noire, Dime, Kenco Coffee, Philadelphia, Terry's, Toblerone, Maxwell House and Dairylea.

UK managing director Thibaud de Saint Quentin and staff from the international offices were unavailable for comment.

The move follows a spate of consolidation on global media accounts including Nestle, Air France, SC Johnson and McDonald's, all of which have been reviewed within the last six months.

In January Kraft Foods announced a global marketing restructure that saw former joint chief executive Betsy Holden take up the post of president of global marketing and category development. As part of the overhaul Kraft North America merged its strategic marketing activities with those of Kraft International, headed by Holden.

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