The Conservative Party’s media buying account has moved to CIA Media- network after a secret review.
The account, estimated to be worth up to 15m, has been handled on an ad hoc basis by Optimedia since it left Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith last year.
A series of ads for the party appeared in The Sun, The Daily Express and The Times this week, booked by CIA.
The agency is unwilling to discuss the new business, but it is understood the media independent will handle the account through to the general election.
“We had no relationship with the Conservative Party,” says Simon Lloyd, chief executive of Optimedia. “We placed a couple of ads for M&C which then transpired to be for the Conservatives. It is not an account we would particularly relish.”
However, a source claims the account moved after a dispute between M&C and Optimedia about fees for the media buying. A number of media buying agencies were approached about the business but no formal pitch was held.
The Conservative Party’s election spend is split mainly between posters and national press. The party’s poster buying specialist is Concord.