Zenith Media

Zenith Media

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The former ZenithOptimedia was split in two in 2016 as part of a wider restructuring of Publicis Groupe's various subsidiary networks. Zenith Media is the shop which, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, more or less set the standard for what a modern media agency does, as one of the first standalone units to provide international media planning, buying, evaluation and co-ordination services independently of a traditional advertising agency. Eventually overtaken by the newly demerged US-based media networks, its merger with Optimedia, previously the media department of Publicis Worldwide, pushed it back into the top ranks. ZenithOptimedia was the #3 media specialist worldwide in 2014 with billings of $36.23bn (according to Recma). However recent performance has been a little rough, especially in Europe, where the network suffered a series of key account losses from 2013. The overhaul of all Publicis Groupe media operations in 2016 led to the demerger of Optimedia into smaller unit Blue 449, leaving Zenith as a separate standalone brand. Many of the old network's back office functions were centralised at the same time in a newly created Publicis Media umbrella company.

Selected Zenith Media case studies

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Zenith Media website


Publicis Groupe

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Nov 2017: L'Oreal consolidated its media in France with Publicis Groupe. The business was already handled by Zenith, but Publicis will now build a dedicated agency under the banner Publicis iBeauty. Selected other markets are still in review.

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Aug 2017: There was another blow for Publicis Groupe's media division with the loss of the global account for French healthcare group Sanofi, which had been managed by the old ZenithOptimedia network. WPP's Mindshare becomes the main global agency in all markets except the US and Japan, and WPP will also add selected, as yet undisclosed creative responsibility alongside global incumbents Publicis and Havas. In the US, Havas Media will take over full responsibility for prescription pharmaceuticals, as well as planning for Sanofi's consumer healthcare portfolio, recently boosted by the acquisition of the equivalent division of German company Boehringer Ingelheim. Buying for the OTC business will remain with independent agency KWG, which also hands most creative for that unit. Combined global spend is around €900m.

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd Aug 2017: Only a week after capturing global media for the world's second largest luxury retailer Richemont, WPP also snared duties across the Asia Pacific region for the global #1, LVMH. Billings are estimated at around $450m. WPP will create a new dedicated agency, L'Atelier, to handle the business in all markets across the region except Japan, where it stays with a joint venture between Mindshare and ADK. The business transfers from Publicis-owned Zenith.

Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Dec 2016: Publicis Groupe has changed its plans regarding the rebranding of the recently divided Zenith and Optimedia media banners. The latter was to have been merged with challenger network Blue 449 to create Optimedia Blue 449. However, everyone has now realised that this is quite a mouthful, so the Optimedia name is to be dropped altogether in favour of plain and simple Blue 449. In all other respects, though, nothing changes, with the old Optimedia standalone outposts in the US and elsewhere now taking on the Blue 449 name.

Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Oct 2016: Coty completed its acquisition of Procter & Gamble's specialty beauty brands on Monday this week, creating a new giant in the global market. Brands joining the Coty stable include Covergirl, Max Factor, Clairol and Wella, as well as the Gucci and Hugo Boss fragrance licenses. Coty's annual sales will more than double to around $9bn, and it becomes the global #1 in fragrances, #2 in professional haircare and #3 in colour cosmetics. At the same time, Camillio Pane moves up to global CEO of the enlarged business under chairman Bart Becht. The other big winner from completion is Publicis Group's Zenith Media network which takes over responsibility for all the transferring brands from Starcom, MediaCom and other former incumbents. Creative duties will change in due course. Currently, Grey handles creative for most of the brands affected, with Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett also involved in some markets.

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