News Corp shortlists media, Publicis dropped from papers

By By David Blight | 9 October 2012
Rupert Murdoch (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons).

EXCLUSIVE: News Corporation has created three separate shortlists for its $100 million media review across News Limited, Foxtel and 20th Century Fox, with incumbent Publicis cut from the newspaper account.

Rupert Murdoch's New Corp business, which was previously consolidated as a single medias buying account with Publicis Media, has now been split into three media accounts.

However, one winning agency from the three streams will also be named as the lead agency, or master media agency, and will handle master media deals for the consolidated group.

The News Limited account is being contested by GroupM's MediaCom, Mediabrands-owned Initiative and Omnicom-owned PHD.

Meanwhile, Foxtel is a three-way shootout between Publicis-owned ZenithOptimedia, MediaCom and Mediabrands-owned UM.

Finally, 20th Century Fox has shortlisted ZenithOptimedia, Aegis-owned Vizeum and GroupM's Mindshare.

The incumbent on the consolidated account, Publicis Media, was a unit created specially to handle the consolidated News Corporation account. However, following the splitting of the business, Publicis-owned ZenithOptimedia has stepped in as the Publicis agency.

Incumbent Publicis Media has been dropped from the News Limited account, which includes newspaper, magazine and digital businesses. While Publicis Media was the lead agency on the business, a number of other agencies have handled specific strategy and planning elements of particular titles.

Combined, the News Corporation media account is worth in excess of $100 million. Wholly-owned News Corporation businesses spent an estimated $59.5 million on main media in the year to April 2012, according to Nielsen.

Meanwhile, Foxtel, which is 25% owned by News Limited, 25% owned by Consolidated Media and 50% owned by Telstra, spent $46.5 million in the same period.

News Corporation declined to comment on the shortlists.

The review was launched in July, as revealed by AdNews.

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