The London Evening Standard is reviewing its estimated £10m advertising business as its new managing director, Andy Mullins, attempts to reverse falling sales of the newspaper.
The newspaper is holding “chemistry” meetings with five agencies, including incumbent The Law Firm, with a final decision expected to be made by June this year.
The Law Firm has been working with The Evening Standard since November last year, but is not formally contracted to the paper.
Following the “chemistry” meetings, Mullins says that a competitive pitch, if required, will involve no more than three agencies.
Mullins has been in his new position as managing director since April this year and has not overseen any major advertising.
The Law Firm holds the £22m Daily Mail account and took on the London Evening Standard account last year in controversial circumstances.
At the time, the original shortlist included Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and TBWA/London, but the editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers, Paul Dacre, decided that the Evening Standard should mirror its sister title in appointing The Law Firm.
Consequently, the Daily Mail split with FCB London after 35 years, following the departure of Brian Watson who joined the Law Firm as one of its executive creative directors.
The latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures show the Evening Standard is losing sales, with a year-on-year decline of 15.7% to an average circulation of 266,214 for April.
In an effort to boost circulation, the paper now gives away about 30,000 more bulk copies to hotels, trains and airlines than it did in the previous year.