GroupM agency Mindshare is tipped to have retained planning and buying duties across all media for Yum China, the mainland licensee of KFC and Pizza Hut, following a pitch that included Publicis Media's Zenith, IPG Mediabrands' UM, and Denstu Aegis Network's Carat, according to sources.
The media account, which Mindshare has held for going on 20 years, is reportedly worth between US$600 million and US$800 million in billings.
According to Campaign's sources, the call went out in February and was initially for both planning and buying, with Zenith, Carat, UM and Mindshare all involved at that stage. Later the client decided to stay with Mindshare for planning, and UM, Carat and Mindshare competed for the buying business before the decision was made this week, the sources said.
Yum China, which spun out from Yum Brands in 2016, has more than 7,600 restaurants and 420,000 employees in over 1,100 cities in China, and generated over US$8 billion in sales in 2015, according to its website. Yum China also holds the rights to Taco Bell* and owns the East Dawning and Little Sheep concepts outright.
A spokesperson for Dentsu Aegis Network declined to comment. Zenith only participated in the credentials presentation, according to a spokesperson.
* An earlier version of this story said Yum had not yet launched Taco Bell in China, but in fact the first restaurant was announced in January.