Lionsgate Consolidates Ads at Mindshare

By Robert Marich
   Feb. 19, 2013-Lionsgate consolidated its estimated $400 million domestic film advertising account with WPP’s Mindshare media buying agency, which handled Summit Entertainment that Lionsgate acquired a year ago. Interpublic’s Initiative unit—which bought ads for Lionsgate pre-merger—is dropped. The assignment covers theatrical and home video ad spending.
   Kantar Media puts Lionsgate’s measured domestic ad spend at $400 million, according to online advertising trade news outfit Media Post. “In 2011 Lionsgate spent nearly $270 million on ads, while Summit spent close to $150 million,” notes a Media Post article by Steve McClellan, which is before their merger. Lionsgate is known for Hunger Games, the Saw horror series and Tyler Perry comedies, while Summit is home of the Twilight movies.
   Mindshare is part of WPP, which is a sprawling advertising service giant with 162,000 employees worldwide that owns Grey Advertising, Y&R, and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. WPP's GroupM unit houses Mindshare, which places billions of dollars in media billings.
   Film distributors like Lionsgate use media buying agencies to tap their volume discounts in buying advertising for a raft of clients. Lionsgate expects millions of dollars in savings from concentrating its advertising at a single media buyer--Mindshare. Film distributors tend not to use full-service advertising agencies –but rather media buying agencies to only purchase slots—because creative materials such as commercials and print ads are produced by specialized entertainment boutiques.
   “During the review last September, a company spokesman said that it had invited incumbents Initiative and Mindshare, as well as independent Horizon, to participate,” says an Advertising Age article by Alexandra Bruell. “Initiative, an Interpublic Group of Cos. shop, had been working with Lionsgate since 2006. WPP's Mindshare won the Summit business in 2007.”
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