Saatchi & Saatchi has picked up the 2m media buying account to promote the launch of “alternative” music station Xfm in London from September.
But Saatchi faces competition from other shortlisted agencies to handle creative work on the account. Xfm managing director Chris Parry is expected to decide on his creative team next month.
Saatchi’s appointment follows a relatively long-standing relationship between the agency and the radio station. The agency advised Xfm in drawing up audience and ad revenue projections for its application for the London-wide licence.
Mike Gorman, media director at Saatchi, says media buying has deliberately been kept out of Zenith to avoid a conflict with Zenith’s client Capital Radio.
Gorman says the 2m budget will enable the station to create awareness and establish a healthy following among listeners and advertisers alike.
“Agencies such as ours need access to the London youth market who are not listening to Kiss 100 and bland formats such as Capital and Virgin,” Gorman adds.
The creative account has yet to be assigned.