WPP nabs Beiersdorf global media strategy consulting brief

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The owner of the Nivea brand continues to split media planning and buying among OMD, Wavemaker and Carat.

WPP has won the central communications strategy brief for German multinational company Beiersdorf, which owns brands including Nivea and Eucerin, Campaign US has learned.

The account will be run by an integrated WPP team with Wavemaker at the core. Beiersdorf will continue to work with incumbents Wavemaker, Omnicom's OMD and Dentsu's Carat to plan and buy media in regional and local markets and coordiante strategies globally, the company confirmed.

WPP will run communications strategy out of Beiersdorf's headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, to enable a "stronger focus on embedding communication centricity," Beiersdorf said in a statement.

"The assignment does not affect our local cooperation with our three media agencies, which are responsible for Beiersdorf’s entire media volume via their respective local assignments," a Beiersdorf spokesperson said.

Beiersdorf spends $500 million on media, as tracked per COMvergence.

The pitch, which lasted three months, included Publicis Groupe, WPP and Dentsu, with a final round between Publicis and WPP, according to sources.

In 2019 Publicis Groupe won the creative account for Nivea with a bespoke, cross-discipline team called One Touch. One Touch will continue to run creative for Nivea, according to sources. WPP won creative duties for Beiersdorf brands Eucerin and Hansaplast during the same pitch.

Prior to One Touch, Nivea worked with Interpublic Group’s FCB until June of 2019, until allegations of a homophobic comment made on a call led to the demise of their relationship.

For Publicis, the Beiersdorf comms strategy win would have clinched more of the business under the holding company’s roof, in line with its Power of One strategy. Publicis Groupe recently lost the integrated Mercedes-Benz account, which it ran under a bespoke team called Publicis Emil, to Omnicom. However, it picked up the Planet Fitness account with a custom group called Team Lift.

Beiersdorf has bounced back from the pandemic, with revenues up 16.2% year over year to €3.9 billion ($4.5 billion) in Q3.

Publicis and WPP declined to comment.

This article has been updated with statements from Beiersdorf clarifying that WPP's assignment is a central communications strategy brief, and does not affect Beiersdorf's relationships with its incumbent media agencies.

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