D’Arcy and TBWA lose out to Leo Burnett in £40m pitch for Merloni

Italian domestic appliance giant Merloni is believed to be centralising its European advertising into Leo Burnett, in a deal worth more than &£40m.

Roster agencies TBWA, which handled Ariston in the UK, and D’Arcy, which handled Indesit in the UK across Europe, are believed to have been dropped.

Leo Burnett is expected to handle both Indesit and Ariston from its Italian office. Ariston, which sells cookers, fridges and washing machines in the UK, spent &£1.3m last year through TBWA, according to Register MEAL, but the agency claims the account is dormant.

D’Arcy also claims the Indesit account is dormant, although MEAL shows a UK media spend last year of more than &£3m.

Five agencies are believed to have pitched for the Merloni business at the company’s Italian headquarters.

Nick Bryan, chief executive of Leo Burnett’s London office, says: “We will be meeting Ariston executives this week to find out our precise role and responsibilities. It will be an Italian-led account and I would imagine the majority of the creative work will come from there.”

Karen Boardman, TBWA’s marketing director, says: “We are not surprised by this. The account was dormant.”

Merloni was not available for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

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