PHD in talks with Cogent over link-up

Pattison Horswell Durden is negotiating with Cogent over a joint venture media buying operation.

The joint venture, details of which are being kept under wraps while negotiations continue, is expected to have PHD as the senior partner.

Industry observers expect media planning and buying of Cogent’s 25m in billings (Register-MEAL) to move into PHD, with client handling roles retained by Cogent.

Cogent’s main clients include Vauxhall’s Network Q, Cuprinol and Cadbury’s Biscuits. PHD has billings of around 70m.

Cogent is believed to be looking at the joint venture as part of a downsizing of the company. In January, it closed its London offices and made a number of redundancies in an effort to cut costs.

The agency lost its 6m RAC account to the “virtual agency” created by marketing director Jan Smith last month. PHD currently handles the media for the RAC.

The venture presents no major client conflicts and is believed to be ready for signing within two weeks.

PHD has had approaches from a number of major agency net works in the past year seeking to acquire it. Talks with Lowe Howard-Spink are understood to have ended but other agencies are still in the frame.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here