CIA grabs 35m

The CIA Group has won Shell’s centralised 35m pan-European media buying and planning account.

CIA International, pitching with the UK agency, won the business against the two incumbents – The Network and Optimedia – as well as Leo Burnett.

The Shell pitches were conducted in the UK by Media Audits two weeks ago and CIA and The Network were then asked to provide further information.

The 5m UK media buying was previously handled by The Network, which had most of the European business, and Optimedia. Optimedia also held the account in France, Greece, Holland and Scandinavia.

Shell is understood to be targeting Eastern Europe.

The review followed Shell’s decision to seek economies of scale across Europe as petrol retailers square up to competition from supermarkets and independents. Last week, BP and Mobil announced a pan-European merger while Esso has begun a value-pricing strategy.

Mobil had been expected to announce the winner of its 20m pan-European media buying review by the end of March. However, the three pitching agencies – incumbent BMP DDB, BBJ Media Services and Initiative Media – now expect the petrol retailing part of Mobil, which will merge with BP, to remain on hold until the merger is approved by the European Commission. BP’s account is split between Zenith and MediaCom.

See analysis p25

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