The merged supermarket Somerfield and Kwik Save has called a pitch for its 20m consolidated media buying business.
Somerfield incumbent CIA Medianetwork is to pitch alongside Zenith and Walker Media. Kwik Save’s agency, Universal McCann, is understood not to be competing.
The pitches will take place at the beginning of August and a decision is expected by the end of that month. The merged media account will not come into play until January 1 1999.
Somerfield associate director of marketing Dominic Myers says “economies of scale” prompted the decision to integrate the accounts. The merged group is expected to make a saving of 50m.
A combined account would enable the group to increase media buying levels and produce a more effective strategy.
But the company says there are no plans at present to consolidate the creative accounts. RPM3 handles Somerfield’s 13m account and McCann-Erickson manages the Kwik Save account, worth 7m, from its London office.
Somerfield and Kwik Save completed a 1.2bn merger in February and the new company has since announced the Kwik Save brand is to disappear.
The merger created a chain of about 1,400 stores with 15 million customers a week and sales of over 6bn. The group is the third greatest buying power for packaged groceries behind Tesco and Sainsbury’s.