Xfm scraps plans to hire creative agency

Capital Radio’s alternative radio station Xfm has scrapped plans to appoint a creative advertising agency and has handed its &£1.7 million strategic communication business to Michaelides & Bednash.

Michaelides & Bednash will handle all marketing and communications work for Xfm and appoint advertising agencies ad hoc.

The agency was appointed following a three-way pitch that included two communications agencies and one advertising agency. Xfm marketing director Charoltte Soussan says she was doubtful about using an advertising agency from the start of the pitch. She says: “I wanted to hear what they had to say, but I didn’t want to rely too heavily on just above the line – I wanted someone that could think above and below the line.”

Quiet Storm, which created Xfm’s previous advertising campaigns, did not pitch for the business and will no longer be the station’s agency of record. Soussan added that she might use the agency at a later date.

Xfm announced plans to review its communications and creative agencies after Unity resigned the strategic communications business last month, citing a difference of opinion about “direction”. (MW July 4).

Xfm avoided above-the-line advertising until 1999, when it appointed Quiet Storm. It waited two years to appoint a creative agency after its 1997 launch. The station was reliant on direct mail, flyposting and sponsorship at music festivals until its acquisition by Capital Radio in 1998.

Michaelides & Bednash’s other clients include Channel 4, E4, FilmFour and workthing.com.

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