Walker wins 108m Dixons media task

Dixons Stores Group has moved its 108m media buying account into Walker Media in a move that reunites Christine Walker with the high street electrical retailer after a three-year break.

Walker last worked with the Dixons Group, which includes Currys, Dixons, the Link and PC World stores, when she was chief executive at Zenith Media.

Dixons pulled its media account out of the then Saatchi & Saatchi plc-owned Zenith after the Saatchi brothers quit the main agency in April 1995. The account went to the Media Centre, now known as MediaVest.

The bulk of the creative account, Currys and Dixons, moved to what became M&C Saatchi. It later won The Link and PC World creative accounts from DMB&B.

Walker Media is part-owned by M&C Saatchi.

Walker is still restricted from approaching some existing Zenith clients by a legal compromise struck last November.

There was no restriction on the Dixons Group business, although it is understood that there was no pitch for the media account.

According to ACNielsen-MEAL, Dixons Group spends 108m at ratecard, but this is thought to be nearer 50m in real terms.

Dixons Group swells a client list at Walker Media which is understood to include the buying business for the New Millennium Experience Company and project work for Associated Newspapers.

Dixons was involved in an ad rate dispute which led to a month-long boycott of News International titles last year (MW July 3 1997).

The group reported pre-Christmas sales down seven per cent, which knocked ten per cent off its share price.

No one was available for comment at MediaVest.

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