Tobacco company Gallaher is understood to be reviewing its £4m media business out of CDP Media.
As Marketing Week went to press Gallaher was unavailable to confirm whether the work was being consolidated into its other media agency Walker Media or was out to pitch. CDP Media managing director Barry Jenner refused to comment.
CDP Media is the major media buyer for Gallaher, working on the Mayfair and Silk Cut brands. Gallaher is the second-largest cigarette manufacturer in the UK, with 39 per cent share of the market by volume.
Imperial Tobacco, which commands 41.4 per cent of the market and has been bolstered by a distribution deal last year with Philip Morris covering its Marlboro brands, is the market leader.
Gallaher launched a provocative campaign late last year for its Hamlet Miniatures, featuring dwarves smoking the product.
Earlier last year it launched a £2m integrated campaign for its Samson rolling tobacco in an attempt to bolster its position in the growing market for hand-rolling products.
Gallaher’s pre-tax profits for the six months to June 30, 2001, rose from £154.8m to £172.7m.
In June the company paid £480m for the Austrian government’s 41 per cent stake in Austria Tabak. It is in talks to take over German tobacco company Reemtsma, but faces competition from Imperial Tobacco, Altadis and Japan Tobacco.