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Publicis media agencies add Richemont's North American account to portfolio

LONDON - Luxury goods conglomerate Richemont has appointed Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia and Starcom to handle media planning and buying in its key markets outside Europe.

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The appointment follows the news last month that ZenithOptimedia is to manage Richemont's £70m European media account.

The agency will now also handle planning and buying in North America, while Starcom will oversee media in Latin America and the Middle East.

Both agencies will be responsible for Richemont's portfolio of brands, including Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Alfred Dunhill, gunmaker Purdey and Mont Blanc pens.

The global media strategy will be coordinated by ZenithOptimedia France, which led the international pitch.

The incumbent agencies are Mediaedge:cia for Europe, which decided to withdraw from the pitch in April, Universal McCann for the Americas, while Starcom previously handled the Middle East account. Work begins at the beginning of 2006.

The review has not affected OMD's hold on Richemont's media account in Asia.

Richemont tends to create its advertising in-house. However, in July 2004 it hired VCCP to oversee global advertising for its Dunhill brand.

Based in Geneva, the company is controlled by the South African Rupert family. In the year to the end of March 2005, it reported a 10% sales increase to £3.7bn and a profit hike of 71%.

Richemont recently sold its Hackett clothing brand to Spanish investment company Torreal.

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