Dentsu Aegis Network defends and grows $18m Disney account

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 10 August 2018

Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has retained the $18.2 million media buying and planning account for the Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand, AdNews can reveal.

Dentsu and Disney confirmed the agency has retained the account on a network level, following a competitive pitch earlier this year. 

Carat has worked solely with Disney since 2009 when it took the business from Mindshare in a two-way pitch with Starcom MediaVest.

AdNews understands the deal will draw resources from several of its key agencies to create a similar proposition as it's new Woolworths@DAN offering, which is a bespoke unit created to service major clients.

"Dentsu Aegis can confirm it has successfully retained the Disney account defending and growing a client it has proudly represented for the past nine years," a Dentsu spokesperson told AdNews.

Walt Disney Company assets that impact this market include Disney's own film and television assets, ESPN, Pixar, Lucasfilm (the makers of Star Wars), Pixar and Marvel Studios.

In the past year, the company has produced some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters, including the new Star Wars films, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, which is projected to gross $2 billion in worldwide ticket sales in one of the biggest northern summer launches in history.

The Disney Theatrical Group is a separate division that currently uses Slingshot for its media buying and planning needs.

Carat's former chief strategy officer Gavin Ashcroft joined Disney as its CMO shortly after the agency last retained the business in 2015. Ashcroft was made Disney's VP of content and customer experience at the start of 2017.

Despite the move away from one sole agency, the loss follows Carat retaining the Microsoft media account in Australia following a closed global review. In Australia, Microsoft is estimated to spend between $40 million to $60 million in media each year. Carat also won the $10m Beacon Lighting media pitch in March.

After a relatively quiet 2017, the media pitching merry-go-round has really picked up pace in recent months. 

Just this week MediaCom has retained the Mars business and Mindshare has won the Mondelez account.

There has also been recent decisions on BWM, Mercedes, Football Federation Australia, Nestle, Revlon, Hyundai, AGL and Shell,  leaving just Ford and GlaxoSmithKline still out to tender.

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