Saatchi & Saatchi has lost the multi-million pound BT corporate advertising account to Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO after a secret internal review.
The decision will come as a major blow to Saatchi, which lost the 6m BT global advertising account to AMV last year.
Sources close to BT were critical of Saatchi’s work, saying: “Saatchi has been left out in the cold. BT has parted company with them, and AMV has got the work they used to do.”
BT’s corporate account is one of the most lucrative in the country and is believed to have been worth about 9.4m last year. The review has been ongoing for some months and involved AMV – which has held the 50m flagship consumer account for the past two years – Saatchi and a third agency.
Saatchi’s most recent work on the corporate account was a 60-second commercial called Blindfold, showing BT’s leading edge technology such as the PC videophone.
The campaign developed the “enabling” theme first seen in the ad featuring Professor Stephen Hawking, “Helping to keep the world talking.”
Saatchi was notably absent from the pitches for the 14m “Work smarter” campaign, retained by Butterfield Day Devito Hockney, and the business commun ication account, which also went to AMV.
The first example of AMV’s work on the corporate advertising campaign appeared on Sunday. It consisted of a press ad to tie in with the company’s annual reports and accounts.
Jeremy Miles, board account director at AMV, says the agency had created the press ad as a one-off. He refused to say whether the agency would handle further work on the corporate account.
A BT spokesman refused to comment.