Leo Burnett has beaten McCann-Erickson to win the 2.5m account for Heart FM, which operates radio licences in London and the West Midlands.
Leo Burnett will handle strategic, creative and media buying work for the two stations. The business was previously split between McCann Central and Mellors Reay.
Leo Burnett will also handle media buying for Bristol station Galaxy, also owned by the Chrysalis Group, although creative work will remain with McCann Bristol.
Phil Riley, managing director of Chrysalis Radio, says the bulk of the account budget will be spent in London. But he also expects the company to promote aggressively in the Birmingham and West Midlands area, where Heart FM trails leading station BRMB by a narrow margin.
The Birmingham-based station has 500,000 listeners, while London’s Heart FM exceeded 1 million listeners a week, according to the latest Rajar figures.
“Quite often in the period after radio launches you see advertising budgets being cut. But that is not the case with us,” says Riley. “We are facing major competition, particularly in the London market.”
Heart may continue to run different creative executions for its two stations, adds Riley. “But if there are any different executions, they will be generated from the same strategy.”
McCann-Erickson is in pole position to win the 20m Royal & Sun Alliance account.