Cable & Wireless Communications is reviewing its 40m direct marketing business.
The review, which covers work for both CWC’s business and consumer units, coincides with the resignation of the direct marketing agency Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, which handled much of the direct marketing surrounding the launch of the company last September, because of conflict of interest.
Abbott Mead Vickers plc, which owns the lead BT agency AMV.BBDO, bought Craik Jones last October. CWC marketing director Helen Burt says the two sides agreed that the change in Craik Jones’ ownership could lead to an “awkward situation”.
Burt says the review is an attempt to simplify CWC’s agency arrangements – a hangover from before CWC was created by merging Mercury Communications, Nynex, Videotron and Bell Cablemedia. CWC uses at least six direct marketing agencies across its business and consumer units. This review will include other disciplines, such as design and sales promotion.
The company is talking to both existing direct marketing agencies, including Grey Integrated, and non-CWC agencies.
Burt says: “If we think that everything is fine in the way we work then we will maintain it – but we need to look outside the company.”
Burt says the above-the-line work handled by Rapier Stead Bowden is not being reviewed because it was appointed by the new regime to handle the 50m advertising account last June. But Rapier, which has previously handled direct marketing for Bell Cablemedia, will not handle any direct marketing business for CWC.
CWC is also in the early stages of reviewing its use of media agencies.
Decisions on all agency reviews are expected within two months.