Media Insight beats rival to Nestlé brief

Media Insight has hung on to Nestlé’s multi-million dollar media buying and planning account after edging out rivals Optimedia at the eleventh hour, Campaign Middle East can reveal.

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By  Tim Addington Published  August 7, 2005

Media Insight has hung on to Nestlé’s multi-million dollar media buying and planning account after edging out rivals Optimedia at the eleventh hour, Campaign Middle East can reveal. In a move that surprised industry observers, the FMCG giant has decided to stick with Media Insight — which it has worked with for more than five years — following a prolonged two-way pitching process that started in mid-May. Optimedia had been widely tipped to win the account, but a last minute local intervention is believed to have swung the massive account, estimated to be worth in the region of US$50 million, back in favour of Media Insight. A spokesman at Nestlé’s regional headquarters in Dubai said only: “We have assigned Nestlé’s media planning and buying for the region to Media Insight. I can’t discuss the matter further.” Both Media Insight and Optimedia remained tight-lipped about the decision. Firas El Zein, regional managing director at Optimedia, refused to comment, but insiders at the agency said senior managers were devastated on hearing the news, after giving what it regarded as its “best ever” presentation to Nestlé managers. Razmik Kalaidjian, media director at Media Insight, said only: “We are delighted to have retained the account.” Nestlé is estimated to be the third largest advertising spender in the Middle East, with regional television taking the lion’s share of its cash. Campaign Middle East understands that the issue became a battle of wills between Nestlé’s international and local management, with staff on the ground winning through at the last. Nestlé, whose brands include KitKat and Nescafé, had previously negotiated agency deals for individual countries and products, but scrapped the system in favour of a more streamlined system.

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