Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide has beaten 13 international through-the-line agencies to win the task of coordinating global advertising and direct marketing strategy for Reader’s Digest.
Richard Garvey, group president for global marketing and new channels at the publishing giant, says O&M would concentrate on “global and local initiatives”, including launching into new markets.
It is understood Reader’s Digest head office will now instruct local offices to review their agency relationships: O&M’s central role puts it in pole position to pick up a significant number of local accounts.
An O&M insider says: “Reader’s Digest will be starting a worldwide rolling pitch. We’re in a good position, but we’re not guaranteed to win anything.”
It is impossible to say how much the win is worth to O&M. Register-MEAL puts Reader’s Digest’s UK media buying spend for the year ended September 1996 at 6.2m. However, the client also spends significant sums on direct mail. While much of the advertising is handled in-house, Bates Dorland recently won the 2m TV campaign for the Digest’s prize draw, while O&M Direct won the 2m DRTV planning and buying business.
Reader’s Digest contacted 14 international agencies with through-the-line capability, before shortlisting four – O&M, Bates US, Grey Advertising and Saatchi & Saatchi – to pitch at its HQ in New York.