What: The Kraft Heinz Company has consolidated its U.S. media agency assignment with Starcom.
Why it matters: UM was Heinz’ incumbent while Starcom held the Kraft account. Kraft and Heinz announced their merger earlier this year. This caps a great week for Starcom which also gained Visa’s global media buying account.
The newly merged Kraft Heinz Company has consolidated its media agency assignment with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom without a review, the company confirmed Friday. Starcom had handled Kraft, while UM was the Heinz incumbent. Combined, the companies spent over $600 million on ads in 2014, according to Kantar — with most of that spending placed by Kraft. The newly combined company will have eight brands each worth more than $1 billion, as well as five brands worth between $500 million and $1 billion. The company’s products include Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Heinz Ketchup among many other brands.
(When Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital acquired Heinz in 2014, it shifted its global media account, worth $250 million, to OMG, and gave U.S. media to IPG’s Universal McCann)
The win caps a huge week for Starcom, which earlier won the $200 million global Visa media AOR assignment after a review. Michael Mullen, SVP corporate and government affairs at The Kraft Heinz Company, issued a statement about the move: “As we work to build something truly special at The Kraft Heinz Company, we are examining every aspect of our business to ensure we are operating efficiently and effectively, and best positioning the Company to deliver on the needs of our consumers. In this spirit, we have decided to consolidate all media planning and buying for Kraft Heinz with Starcom, effective immediately.”
Mullen added that the company believes data, and the company’s and agency’s ability to analyze it, is critical to optimizing future media planning and buying.
“Kraft Heinz has partnered with Starcom to make unprecedented strides in unlocking the value of data in the industry, and we will continue to leverage groundbreaking data innovation to enable our brands to achieve more effective consumer connections at the most effective cost. “By working with Starcom and harnessing the power of the newly merged Kraft Heinz, we believe data will help us improve targeting, gain insights and refine our exposure and engagement with consumers, ultimately improving the overall quality of media. We fundamentally believe in investing in marketing to drive our business, and we look forward to partnering with Starcom to grow our unrivaled portfolio of iconic brands.”
Mullen added that the decision to consolidate “was not made lightly. We have enjoyed a great relationship with Universal McCann and we thank them for their partnership and dedication to our business over the years.”