Heinz divides £36m Euro media

Food giant HJ Heinz has split its E55m (£36m) European media planning and buying business between Vizeum and Mediaedge:CIA, after deciding to divide the business into northern and southern European territories.

The two agencies pitched against OMD, the incumbent agency in Italy, to win the business. UK incumbent Starcom Motive dropped out in May, after declining to repitch.

Vizeum, which already handled the company’s media account in the Netherlands, has added Heinz’ UK and France accounts to its business. Mediaedge:CIA, meanwhile, has retained Spain and won Italy and Portugal. The review did not include media in Germany, where Zenith Optimedia was recently appointed.

Heinz brand director in the UK and Ireland Scott Garrett says the company called the consolidating pitch in order to improve efficiency and cut costs. But he adds that the company saw no specific gains from splitting the business, and was keen to retain the two agencies because of the success they had had in the respective countries that they handled.

The agencies will take over all new projects as they develop, with ongoing work still being handled by the incumbents, which will vary on a country-by-country basis. It is likely that Starcom Motive will continue to work with the company until October.

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