Mustoe tipped to scoop £1.4m Scoot work

Scoot, the beleaguered online business directory, is poised to appoint Mustoe Merriman Levy (MML) as its ad agency.

MML pitched against Tequila and Claydon Heeley Jones Mason for the &£1.4m ad business. Previous advertising for Scoot has been handled by WCRS and Tequila – the latter created Scoot’s most recent campaign, which ran before Christmas and included radio and national press.

One of the first campaigns MML is likely to produce will promote Scoot’s new directory inquiries service. Launching later this month, it will go up against BT’s 192 service, and follows the relaxation of regulations by Oftel. Scoot ran a door-drop leaflet campaign in February for another telephone service – 0900 premium rate lines.

Scoot has undergone a massive restructuring, following a dramatic collapse in its share price and cash-flow problems. Last year, it sold off Loot, the high-profile classified ad directory it acquired in 2000. Scoot has also divested itself of all European joint ventures so that it can focus exclusively on the UK.

The company has retained its call centre in Telford and a spokeswoman says: “Scoot is seeking ways to increase its existing markets.” Scoot is expected to publish a financial statement at the end of March. Vivendi Universal, the French media giant, retains a 19 per cent stake.

Yell, the former BT-owned company behind Yellow Pages and competitor to Scoot is being prepared for a stock market flotation later this year. The company was bought from BT nine months ago.

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