Philips Electronics has placed its global media account into review, the Netherlands-based company has confirmed. The incumbent, Aegis Group's Carat, has been invited to defend and will do so, an agency representative said.
Carat won a consolidation review for the global account in 2001, with estimated spending at that time of $600 million. Carat won against a field of contenders that included Interpublic Group's Initiative, WPP Group's MindShare, Omnicom Group's OMD and Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group.
The company's U.S. ad spend in 2005 totaled $100 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Philips said in its 2005 annual report that worldwide advertising and sales promotion costs totaled nearly $1.2 billion, but did not provide a further breakout.
Confirming the review, Philips said in a statement that the review was being undertaken "to accelerate its marketing and branding efforts within today's fast-changing media landscape."
Geert van Kuyck, svp, global marketing management, said in a statement that "the pace of change we have seen within the global media environment requires us to continuously challenge the way we deliver our brand promise of 'Sense and Simplicity' to our customers and consumers through the media they consume. While we have made important steps forward in this area over the past year, we also believe that fundamental to this challenge is the way clients and agencies collaborate effectively in this new environment."
Carat and Philips have made headlines in the past year for experimenting with different ad models, including the sponsorship of an entire edition of CBS' 60 Minutes last season. Earlier this year it was the sole sponsor of an issue of Gourmet magazine.
Philips said that two or three other agencies would be invited to compete for the business. The review is expected to take six months to complete, the company said, indicating that the new media agency structure will be in place by April 1, 2007.
It's a busy time on the new business front for Aegis. Carat is also competing in a consolidation review for the $100 million domestic Energizer account with Omnicom's PHD. Sibling agency Vizeum is participating in the $1.2 billion global Fox review. Last month Carat won the planning and buying business across Europe for General Motors, where the carmaker spends an estimated $760 million annually.