Guinness Media Account On The Move …

For some players within the marketing communication industry, the anticipated benefits of foreign affiliation may have all but evaporated, but as far as media agency business is concerned, there are no reasons for finger-biting at least for some.
In the case of Media Perspective, which operates under an affiliation with Carat Media Network, the world’s leading independent media planning and buying specialist, itself a subsidiary of Aegis Group plc, the recent emergence of its global affiliate as the pan African agency for Strategy and Coordination for Diageo Guinness’ media business in Africa, the coast is clear for the addition of the coveted blue-chip media account to its portfolio.
When Carat appointed Media Perspective (Carat MP) in 2010 as its Nigeria’s footprint, its global accounts such as Procter & Gamble and Nokia moved to the local agency which buoyed by the track record of the Carat Network was also able to clinch MTN media business among others.
With the latest development, the Troykaowned agency is no doubt set to take over one of the most profitable media business- Guinness Nigeria brands after a prolonged media pitch, which had opened in 2011 and saw the incumbent Media Reach OMD, Carat MP and Mediacom among others jostling for the business.
However, the Guinness management was not persuaded by the outcome of the pitch as the agencies did not demonstrate convincing capability in markets across Africa especially in East Africa, National Mirror gathered.
While Guinness gave the agencies a break to go back to their drawing boards before further pitch “to show their strengths and competencies in East Africa,” the global brewer, however, re-opened the pitch early in the year, according reports.
The new pitch was said to have been well defined into two business arrangements, which clearly mapped out two levels of responsibilities: “Pan African agency” and “Best in class” in the respective markets.
Accordingly, the first part was recently concluded with Carat winning the brief for Africa wide business, which entails leading and coordinating the Guinness’ media business strategy across the sub-Saharan Africa markets like Nigeria, Cameroun and Kenya among others.
The second leg of the business will come before the end of the year. According to sources, the pitch will be expected to produce the best agency to handle the business in the local markets as the “Best-in-class” agency keying into the strategy and direction as led by Carat.
A National Mirror source confirmed that, “that next pitch will feature Media Reach OMD, Carat MP and Mediacom.” The winner of the pitch, according to report, will work with Carat Sub Saharan Africa on strategy implementation and buying. Among the contender for the business, there is no push over.
They all come with enormous wealth of experience on the business except MediaCom, which after losing huge media businesses a few years back have not been able to secure huge briefs and has had to contended with managing some not too busy media businesses.
But with the revamped Mediacom team led by Dr. Ken Oyeali-Ikpe, it is expected that the agency new commitment to transparency and open process in its business conduct may pay off.
However, the battle is between the Tolu Ogunkoya led MediaReachOMD and Carat Media Perspective. MediaReach had dominated the media agency market for about a decade until recently when Carat MP challenged it for the top spot. An industry expert, who plead anonymity that it won’t be a shock if the agency fails to live up to its billing during the pitch as the agency’s management style has seen some of its best hands moving to rival Media Perspective.
The OMD MediaReach Senior Manager, Remi Olugbemi has been one of the many hands that have left the agency to become Group Head, Strategy/Planning at Carat MP. For Carat MP, getting the Guinness Nigeria media business is beyond its affiliation with Carat emergence as the brand’s pan African Strategist and account coordinator.
Having successfully managed Nigerian Brewries PLc, the brand’s arch-rival in the Nigerian market may prove to be another strategic advantage to clinch the business. Also Emeka Okeke, Carat MP, managing director has extensive experience in the brewing industry experience having worked for Guinness.
While the business is still doing well under MediaReach, source at Carat Network in London confirmed to National Mirror that the pitch for Guinness Nigeria local media business will be conducted in November. But as it is, MediaReachOMD remains the agency handling Guinness and industry observers said the agency has done well with the Guinness media business.

Source : ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI reports for National Mirror