Kraft Foods International announced yesterday that it has consolidated strategic and tactical media planning and buying activities across its European Union region business. The company has named Zenith Media – with offices in London and Dublin – as its agency of record for it’s UK and Ireland business area; Mindshare – with offices in Milan, Zurich and Athens – as its agency of record for its Italy, Switzerland and Greece business area; and Carat – with offices in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Madrid and Lisbon – for its France, Benelux, Spain and Portugal business area. Decisions have yet to be taken about consolidation in the Company’s Germany and Austria business area since the selection process is still underway involving Mindshare, Carat, OMD and CIA. Media buying and planning activities in the Nordic business area have already been consolidated into Synergi/rf since the beginning of the year.

“These changes will give Kraft a more focused, strategic approach to our European advertising by consolidating media buying and planning with a smaller group of agencies aligned with our geographical business structure,” said Nick Shepherd, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development of Kraft’s EU business. “This is not a reflection on our agencies’ past performance. By working with a select group of partners, we will be better able to leverage scale across our business areas as well as provide a more streamlined and effective approach towards developing integrated communication plans that take advantage of the exciting new mix of advertising possibilities.”

In October, Kraft had invited Zenith Media along with Mindshare, Carat, OMD and CIA to submit proposals for consolidating media buying and planning in individual countries and across country clusters.

“It was a difficult decision because of the candidates’ strengths, but in the end Zenith, Mindshare and Carat offered the best combination of resources to deliver superior integrated media strategies for the three business areas,” said Shepherd.

“Each agency will support Kraft with dedicated teams in the local marketplace. Working with a select group of strategic partners will not only benefit Kraft but our agencies as well through improved efficiency and streamlined processes. There will be tremendous opportunities to share learnings and best practices between business areas and we look forward to these synergies.”

Kraft Foods International European Union region, headquartered in London, is the European business of Kraft Foods International, part of Kraft Foods, the global food business of Philip Morris Companies Inc.

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