Woolworths pitch sees four agencies face off

WoolworthsFour of Australia’s largest media agencies will face off in the coming weeks for one of the country’s biggest media spenders Woolworths.

Mumbrella understands the shortlist is now down to just four agencies with incumbent Carat plus challengers MediaCom, OMD and Starcom MediaVest. Not on the list is Mediabrand’s agency UM, which has Coles as a client.

Woolworths announced the anticipated review in early February with the main supermarket businesses as well as the liquor subsidiaries such as Dan Murphy’s, BWS, ALH, Langtons and Cellarmasters all included in the deal.

Some agencies were initially thought to be circumspect about entering a costly pitch process for a high churn and low margin client of this size, which is likely to have a large cost element involved. However, with more than $240m in billings at stake the account is seen as important in ensuring buying bulk for whichever agency wins the account.

At the helm of the pitch is head of media Helen Lecopoulos, who moved from McDonalds to Woolworths back in November, one of a number of shake ups in the marketing department which occurred last year. It is thought she and the senior Woolworths marketing team along with managers of the various brands will vote on the decision, with the pitch being led by procurement.

The exact timeline for the process is unknown, but it is thought a decision could be made by Easter.

Nic Christensen


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