Pizza Hut has awarded its $150 million in media planning to WPP Group's Media Edge, bringing the shop within striking distance of becoming media agency of record for Tricon Global Restaurants' $550 million account.
The planning business was moved quietly from Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, creative agency for Pizza Hut and Tricon sibling KFC. Media Edge already handles national broadcast buying for Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell-the third Tricon chain-and does planning for KFC. The last piece of the puzzle is the planning business of Taco Bell, currently housed at Interpublic Group of Cos.'s Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, San Francisco, which also handles Taco Bell creative work.
The Pizza Hut win comes as a needed shot in the arm of Media Edge, which already lost several large accounts this year including H.J. Heinz Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft Foods and Fort James. The Heinz business alone was worth about $60 million.