Nestlé appoints WPP to European media account

Nestlé: Wunderman Thompson's "Tech frustrations" ad for KitKat
Nestlé: Wunderman Thompson's "Tech frustrations" ad for KitKat

Move marks a consolidation of Swiss-based group's media into a single entity.

Nestlé has appointed WPP to handle its European media planning and buying account, concluding a consolidation process that began in December.

Campaign understands the confectionary, food and drink giant has awarded the business – spanning 47 countries including the UK – to WPP's bespoke media outfit OpenMind, part of media investment arm Group M.

The review began at the end of last year, with Nestlé telling Campaign at the time that it was overhauling its Europe-wide media agency arrangements in spite of recent reviews in the UK and Germany.

The advertiser works with agencies in four incumbent groups across Europe – WPP, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic Group and Dentsu.

In July, Nestlé whittled down the list to two groups – WPP and Publicis Groupe.

A spokesperson at the time of the review said the brand's intention was to create a "seamless and integrated audience-first media communications approach across categories and markets, and to deliver significant effectiveness and efficiency benefits" – effectively a consolidation of its media agency arrangements into a single entity.

Of the 47 territories in which Nestlé is present, it is understood that WPP handled the lion's share, followed by IPG.

In 2021, Zenith retained Nestlé's UK £63m media planning and buying account with an expanded remit that added Ireland. Zenith has worked with Nestlé in the UK since 2014.

Nestlé is one of the largest FMCG companies in the world, marketing brands including KitKat, Nescafé, Haagen-Dazs, Maggi and Purina.

All agency groups, including the UK's Zenith, declined to comment. A spokesperson for Nestlé said at the time of writing that it was unable to "share any specific comment at this stage".

UPDATE: The advertiser has since issued a statement confirming the news and explaining its rationale for consolidating the account into a single agency.

A spokesperson said: "Consumers today want access to goods and services their way, regardless of channel. They care about sustainability and health. And they expect brands to offer personalised solutions in real time.

"That is why we have selected a single media agency to transform our marketing communication in Europe, driving consumer attention, relevance and growth."

It added that OpenMind would "co-ordinate all media planning, media buying and campaign activation to best place Nestlé brands across different media channels. This is part of a move to transform and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Nestlé’s marketing investments behind its strong brands in the region.”

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