Woollams Moira Gaskin O’Malley has suffered another serious setback with the loss of its flagship 10m Mercury One-2-One phone account to Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
WMGO has held the account – its largest – since the mobile phone operator launched in September 1993. WMGO reached the final four shortlisted agencies in the recent review, but was told last week that it had lost out. Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters and HHCL & Partners were the other two shortlisted agencies.
The news is the latest in an eight-month catalogue of disasters for WMGO, which since December has lost the 4m Sun Life account, Norwich Union Healthcare and the 6m RAC account. Remaining clients include Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, Sainsbury’s Savacentre and Jordans Cereals. Chief executive Chris Woollams left the agency in controversial circumstances in April (MW April 14).
The loss of the flagship Mercury One-2-One account has prompted speculation about WMGO’s future.
Managing director Steve Greenstead says: “(One-2-One) was a very important piece of business but our profitability does not depend on it. We are still solvent, we will continue trading and will not go bust.” He says there is “no intention” of making redundancies, and also denies rumours that he is searching for a new job. “The rules change when you are in charge and not just an employee. You cannot just jump ship.”
Mercury is still looking for a new marketing director and is expected to appoint one shortly. The BBH campaign will break in the autumn.