Starcom Media on A winning Spree, Clinches Etisalat & Nestle

Starcom Media Nigeria is on a winning spree clinching blue chip businesses as it closes the year 2013. Reports coming from the agency say two of Nigeria's big spending advertisers have moved their media planing and buying to Starcom. First is Etisalat, Nigeria's third biggest telecom network and one of the industry's biggest spenders. The Etisalat business which until recently was managed by Media Reach OMD, moved over to Starcom following a global pitch invloving the Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) and the incubent OMD. 

On the heel of this big win, comes Nestle, the food and beverage giant, marketers of Maggi seasoning, Milo cocoa drink and several other resilient brands in the fast moving goods category. Brandwork Nigeria gathered that the Nestle business was delivered by a local pitch which saw the business moving from Media Share.

The Etisalat and Nestle wins are happening less than 12 months after the agency cornered the Coca-cola Nigeria account from Universal McCann and 24 months after Heineken consolidated its businesses in Nigeria with Starcom including the behemoth Nigerian Breweries Plc with an array of 10 media-busy brands in the beer, malt and carbonated soft drink categories. The Heineken Nigeria account also includes Consolidated Breweries Plc which came under the Heineken umbrella following the Dutch company's acquisition of majority shares in 2010.

This massive consolidation of new businesses places Starcom on the platform of a duel for the No.1 media agency in Nigeria in terms of billings, upsetting the table that had been a contest between Carat Media Perspectives and Media Reach OMD.To be No.1 in this market an agency needs to have one of the telecom businesses and a major brewery, two product categories that dominate the top 5 table of big spenders.

The development also leaves some agencies in a fight for survival. Media Share which recently vacated the Airtel business due to the business dispute between its Prima Garnet group and Ogilvy Africa may have lost over 80% of its business with the flight of Nestle from the agency. For Media Reach OMD which still boasts of accounts such as Guinness, Rekitt Benkaiser, Promasidor and GSK, losing Etislat may not be an end of the road but it sure points to a significant shift in the position of the agency and a pointer to the challenges of the coming year when, as we learn, more accounts are billed to be thrown to pitches.



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