Vizeum retains Lego in MENA as Initiative wins global media remit

Dentsu Aegis Network media agency Vizeum has retained the media account for Lego in the MENA region as the Danish brand appoints Initiative globally.

Lego has appointed Initiative as its global media agency after a worldwide review of its planning and buying business.

The IPG Mediabrands agency won the account after a competitive pitch and takes over from Dentsu Aegis Network’s Carat in Europe and Publicis Groupe’s Starcom in the US.

Julia Goldin, Lego’s chief marketing officer, said Initiative’s “digital-first approach” would help the brand’s ambition to bring Lego to more children around the world.

The media agency will now work with IPG stablemate R/GA, which has worked with Lego globally since earlier this year, on a “cross-agency solution” as the Lego brand aims to evolve for the next generation of children.

Carat had held the pan-European media business (including in the UK) since 2004, as well as Asia-Pacific since 2015. Starcom, meanwhile, had handled the US business for the same amount of time. The US is the Danish brand’s largest market.

Lego launched the global media review within months of Bali Padda, the former chief operations officer, being promoted to chief executive. Padda, the first non-Dane to run Lego, replaced Jørgen Vig Knudstorp.

Initiative has won three major global pitches this year, having defended Amazon and picking up drinks brand Carlsberg.

“We are excited about working with the Initiative team to connect with parents and kids in new, innovative ways,” said Goldin.

“After an extensive global review, we believe that Initiative’s digital-first approach, international reach and strong local insights will support our long-term ambition to bring Lego play to more children around the world.”

Mat Baxter, global CEO of Initiative, said: “The Lego brand and iconic products have a special place in the lives of children and parents, and we’re honoured they’ve entrusted us with such a big responsibility.”

He added: “We’re thrilled to be part of their team.”

In a statement, Initiative said “The agency understands the nuances of culture and will lead clients through changes in our industry by focusing on ‘cultural branding’ as opposed to historical ‘brand advertising’.”

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